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Argentine songwriter wins IAPA anti-impunity song contest

(IAPA/IFEX) - Miami, April 1, 2011 - "As a song for life which shows you how to defend an ideal" is how an emotional songwriter from Mendoza, Argentina, Juliana Castro, described her ballad "No temas" (Don't Be Afraid) which today was declared the winner of the international song contest "Lend Your Voice For Those Who Have No Voice" held by the Inter American Press Association (IAPA) regarding the lack of punishment surrounding crimes against journalists and which aroused hemisphere-wide attention in bringing together more than 150 participants in various musical genres.

The 20-year-old winner will receive a cash award of US$5,000 and production of her song on disc. She told the IAPA that it was her mother who had seen the call for entries in a local newspaper. "I read all the stories about murdered journalists so as to know what we were talking about and on returning from vacation in Bariloche I wrote the lyrics and tried recording different melodies on my cell phone. I changed the order of the verses in line with the music until I managed to get those listening to feel different kinds of moods," she added.

In second and third place were Laura Vargas of Uruguay, with the poetic ballad "Que no te incomode incomodar" (Don't Feel Uncomfortable Making Someone Uncomfortable), and Javier Vargas in a duet with Liliana Jiménez of Colombia with the rap "Somos la voz" (We Are The Voice), who will receive $2,500 and $1,500 respectively. The songs can be heard by logging on to or .

The IAPA reported that in the "Dona tu letra" (Lend Your Words) lyrics section the first three places went to Lorena Fernández de la Sierra of Mexico with "Mi voz" (My Voice); Jackson García of Ecuador with "El silencio" (The Silence), and José Luis Rojas Urdánigo, also of Ecuador, with "Ando buscando la verdad" (I'm Searching For The Truth), who will receive $1,000, $600 and $400, respectively.

The contest was held through the Internet and social media with original themes linked to violence against the press and the unpunished murder of journalists. In a first round of popular voting 22 songs were selected which were submitted for the consideration of an international adjudication panel made up of 27 personalities, among them music executives, journalists, academics, and human rights and press freedom activists.

"We are very pleased at the reach achieved by the contest and at the motivation aroused among songwriters and singers to come up with a ballad that would raise awareness of the need to put an end to impunity in crimes against journalists," declared IAPA President Gonzalo Marroquín, president of the Guatemala City, Guatemala, newspaper Siglo 21. In the last decade the countries most beset by such still unpunished deaths are Mexico, Honduras, Colombia, Brazil and Peru.

The contest was launched last November with a call made in some 400 newspapers throughout the Western Hemisphere by renowned music producer Emilio Estefan. Since then more than 300,000 visits to the site were received. The production of the event was handled by the Miami-based specialist company Firefly.

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