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IAPA conference calls on government for transparency in its war on drugs

(IAPA/IFEX) - Mexico City, April 24, 2009 - Calling on the government of Mexico to carry out its battle with drug traffickers openly and with respect for the press's duty to inform the public, the Inter American Press Association-organized conference "The Press, the Government and Organized Crime," wound up here today.

The event featured three keynote speakers - former Colombian President César Gaviria, Colombian Police Director General Oscar Naranjo and IAPA President Enrique Santos Calderón, editor of the Bogotá, Colombia, newspaper El Tiempo - and focused on sharing experiences in the battle against organized crime and violence by officials, newspaper editors and publishers from Mexico and Colombia.

For the 50 editors and publishers from across Mexico this was also an opportunity for self-criticism and to search for ways to improve the quality of news reporting and editorial criteria in order to inform without propagating violence or spreading the propaganda of organized crime.

The chairman of the IAPA's Impunity Committee, Juan Francisco Ealy Ortiz, president of the Mexico City newspaper El Universal, stressed the importance of the meeting's conclusions, which included a call on Mexico's federal government to come up with comprehensive policies for combating the violence unleashed against the press. Among these was the need to make crimes against journalists federal offenses, something that the IAPA has been urging in Mexico for more than a decade.

To read the full press release, click here

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