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Thirty-two IFEX members urge action to address threat to free expression by "parallel powers"

(CENCOS/IFEX) - The following is a joint statement of 32 IFEX members and three other organisations:


Latin America has become a highly dangerous region for the exercise of journalism and freedom of expression due to the growth of forces that act outside of the rule of law, defined as "parallel powers". This problem is exacerbated by the high level of impunity in the region.

Organised crime, drug-traffickers, gangs, armed groups, paramilitaries, abusive regional/local powerful figures (caciques) linked to economic, political and other groups - are a reality throughout the continent. The effects of these groups include threats, attacks, disappearances, killings, and the closure of media organizations, all of which leads to self-censorship as a mechanism for journalists' self-protection, as well as the silencing of journalists. This permanently damages society by violating their guarantees and rights to freedom of expression, information and communication.

IFEX organisations attending the IFEX General Meeting 2007 in Montevideo, Uruguay, acknowledging the presence of these parallel powers as a serious threat, support the efforts of Latin American organizations in their commitment to develop a regional initiative concerning this issue.

The undersigned urge Latin American governments to take concrete and legal actions to address the problem of parallel powers and guarantee the right to freedom of expression of journalists, media and citizens.


Alliance of Independent Journalists (AJI), Indonesia
Arab Network for Human Rights Information (HRinfo), Egypt
ARTICLE 19 - Sección México, México
Asociación Mundial de Radios Comunitarias (AMARC) Internacional, Canada
Asociación Nacional de Periodistas del Perú (ANP), Perú
Brazilian Association of Investigative Journalism (Associação Brasileira de Jornalismo Investigativo, ABRAJI), Brazil
Canadian Journalists for Free Expression (CJFE), Canada
Center for Human Rights and Democratic Studies (CEHURDES), Nepal
Center for Media Freedom and Responsibility (CMFR), Philippines
Center for Media Studies and Peace Building (CEMESP), Liberia
Centro de Ética y Periodismo (CEPET), México
Centro de Reportes Informativos Sobre Guatemala (CERIGUA), Guatemala
Centro Nacional de Comunicación Social (CENCOS), México
Egyptian Organization for Human Rights (EOHR), Egypt
Federation of Nepalese Journalists (FNJ), Nepal
Foro Periodismo Argentino (FOPEA), Argentina
Free Media Movement (FMM), Sri Lanka
Freedom House, United States of America
Fundación para la Libertad de Prensa (FLIP), Colombia
Index on Censorship, United Kingdom
Initiative for Freedom of Expression (DSKG), Turkey
International Federation of Journalists (IFJ), Belgium
International Press Institute (IPI), Austria
Institute for Reporter's Freedom and Safety (IRFS), Azerbaijan
Instituto Prensa y Sociedad (IPYS), Perú, Venezuela, México
IPS Communication Foundation (BIANET), Turkey
Journaliste en Danger (JED), Democratic Republic of Congo
Mizzima News, India
Observatorio Latinoamericano para la Libertad de Expresión, Perú
Prensa y Democracia (PRENDE), México
PROBIDAD, Honduras
Sindicato de Periodistas del Paraguay (SPP), Paraguay
Southeast Asian Press Alliance (SEAPA), Thailand
West African Journalists Association (WAJA), Mali
World Association of Newspapers (WAN), France

Centro Nacional de Comunicación Social

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