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IAPA offers materials to download for World Press Freedom Day

The Inter American Press Association (IAPA) is enthusiastically joining in the celebration of World Press Freedom Day. For this reason we would like to invite our members and friends to download the announcements of support for this date to be published before May 3 in your newspaper and/or Internet portal.

IAPA would much appreciate it if you would send them a copy of the published page before and during May 3 so as to learn of the impact of the campaign and to register your newspaper as an adherent to this promotion network (hruiz (@)

Please find below an editorial from IAPA President Jaime Mantilla and click here to download images for the campaign.

Many thanks for your support!

Message from IAPA President
Jaime Mantilla, Hoy, Quito, Ecuador
World Press Freedom Day*

Twenty years ago the United Nations General Assembly proclaimed May 3 as World Press Freedom Day. Since then, the press organizations of the world, together with cultural bodies, social organizations and other news media, have been celebrating this date, underscoring the idea that “a free, pluralistic and independent press is an essential component of all democratic society.”

There is no better time to pay homage to the journalists that have been murdered in the Americas in the last 12 months. May the solidarity of the Inter American Press Association be with their family members, friends and colleagues, and let us commit ourselves to continue fighting to prevent these crimes from going unpunished. Indeed, the violence against journalists and its impunity, not only leave a trail of pain among victims and their families, but they affect all the media, by promoting self-censorship.

At our recent meeting in Puebla, Mexico, we confirmed that press freedom in the Americas continues to be attacked by authoritarian and intolerant governments that multiply and re-invent their harassment of the press, and by a violence that appears to have no limits. There we criticized the pressures by governments on privately-owned companies to stop advertising in the independent news media. At the same time, the IAPA warned of the dangers linked to anti-democratic practices, particularly in Argentina, Ecuador, Venezuela, Bolivia, Cuba, Honduras, Nicaragua and Panama.

In some of our countries the media are accused of destabilizing and opposing governments for the mere fact of doing their work, which consists of informing and offering opinion. In those countries independent media find themselves under constant barrage; increasingly there are fewer critical voices. In addition, legislation in favor of access to public information is delayed or not enacted, but laws to discipline and silence critical and independent media are enforced.

In Puebla the IAPA made its most energetic rejection of any attempt at weakening the Organization of American States' Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) and the Office of Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression, a body that since its creation in 1998 has contributed to overseeing and strengthening the freedom of expression of the citizens of every nation in the Americas.

On this May 3, World Press Freedom Day, in addition to highlighting our shortcomings and difficulties, it is worth pointing out our advances and achievements. The press in our hemisphere is looking robust, and journalism is transforming itself creatively, in tune with the times. Today there is a greater awareness of the need to preserve democratic values and the right to a free press. If the populist and authoritarian trends have not spread further, it is due in part to the intense work of the independent press. Increasingly, more governments, mayors, jurists and heads of the Judiciary in our Americas have added their signatures to the Declaration of Chapultepec. The IAPA will continue to be committed to demanding justice so that crimes against journalists do not go unpunished.

The IAPA remains firm, united, full of great challenges but, above all, able to look at the hemisphere with critical and unfettered eyes that enable us to identify the challenges to the defense of that inalienable right, fundamental for the existence of democracy.

*World Press Freedom Day, which is celebrated on May 3, was established to commemorate the Windhoek Declaration, a document that contains principles on the defense of press freedom, drawn up in 1991 during a meeting of African journalists promoted by the United Nations Organization for Education, Science and Culture (UNESCO).

The IAPA is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to the defense and promotion of freedom of the press and of expression in the Americas. Its members include more than 1,300 publications from throughout the Western Hemisphere, and it is based in Miami, Florida. For more information please go to

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