Brazilian office created to promote press security in Latin America

The International News Safety Institute (INSI), in conjunction with the Brazilian Association of Investigative Journalism (Abraji in Portuguese) announced the creation of an office in São Paulo, Brazil, to help protect Latin American journalists.

The announcement comes at a time of heightened violence against journalists in the region. Already 2011 is considered the most tragic year in the last two decades for the Latin American press, according to an analysis by the Inter-American Press Association (IAPA).

The initiative will be focused on security training, exchanging information and consulting for journalists in hostile environments. INSI comes to Brazil with eight years of international experience, reported Estado de São Paulo, and their Latin American headquarters will initially share office space with Abraji in São Paulo.

Marcelo Moreira, vice president of Abraji and adviser to INSI, will be the Latin American branch's director and will be in charge of structuring the operation. "With INSI Global's experience, we'll be able to develop practices that can lower the risks journalists face in the region," he explained.

Abraji President Fernando Rodrigues and INSI Director Rodney Pinder announced the partnership. "The arrival of an INSI office in Latin America, headquartered in Brazil, is a great step toward improving the security conditions for thousands of journalists in the region," Rodrigues said.

The challenges facing the new organization are not small. In Brazil alone, four journalists were shot in 2011: Luciano Leitão Pedrosa in April, Valério Nascimento in May, Edinaldo Filgueira in June, and Auro Ida in July. In Mexico, seven journalists have been killed in drug-related violence this year. Reporters also have been killed in Honduras, El Salvador, Guatemala, Peru, Colombia and Venezuela.