No matter how much they have tried to annihilate or mediate it, press freedom continues to prevail against all odds in Latin America, a victory that responsible journalism has achieved at a high price.
More than 500 journalists have been assassinated in this hemisphere in the last twenty years, dozens of print or digital media have disappeared under financial, legal or criminal pressure, and a wide climate of threats and censorship aims to overshadow this freedom.
In homage to the martyrology of journalists, the Inter-American Press Association is crowning its 76th General Assembly, in virtual mode due to the pandemic, with the “Immortal Pencils” campaign to systematize its demands for exemplary punishment of those guilty of these crimes still in impunity.
With these pencils, which were made with graphite impregnated with the DNA of three murdered journalists, the IAPA ensures that the hands and minds committed to justice and freedom join this international day.
President Luis Abinader will commit to this great aspiration by signing today, with these “Immortal Pencils”, two documents that constitute the best doctrine for the defense of freedom of expression in traditional media and in the digital ecosystem.
They are the Declaration of Chapultepec, of 1994, and the Declaration of Salta, Argentina, in 2018, bases to reinforce freedom of the press as a bulwark and antidote against all abuse of authority and as a key foundation of life in democracy.
By joining this campaign, President Abinader will make an important contribution to the encouragement of a freer, more plural, more transparent society, in which persecuting, killing or frightening journalists does not become an unpunished expression of intolerance or an a sinister whim of those who try to silence the press, ignoring that our freedom is bulletproof … and fearless.