By Tatiana Sell
The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) launched the Speak Justice: Voices against Impunity campaign on Wednesday, Dec. 6.
The initiative aims to call attention to the most extreme forms of media censorship, including violence against and killing journalists. According to a statement from CPJ, 30 journalists are killed on average each year around the world in reprisal of their professional work.
“Nos últimos 20 anos, mais de 660 jornalistas foram mortos (em vários países) ao denunciarem abusos de poder, crimes e violações dos direitos humanos. E as autoridades rotineiramente permitem que os assassinos fiquem à solta […]. A mensagem passada pelos assassinos é clara: jornalistas devem ser silenciados ou mortos. Entretanto, podemos unir as nossas vozes para pedir às autoridades ações que assegurem a investigação das mortes de profissionais da imprensa e a condenação dos acusados”, disse María Salazar-Ferro, coordenadora da campanha.
"In places where censorship-by-murder is common, the killers' message is simple: Be silent or die. And in many instances, this message is echoed by local authorities that lack the capacity, or will, to find and punish perpetrators, and to protect journalists who are still alive," Impunity Campaign and Journalist Assistance Program Coordinator María Salazar-Ferro wrote on the CPJ website.
The website www.speakjusticenow.org features an interactive map that shows that 130 of the 660 journalists killed over the last 20 years were in Latin America and the Caribbean. The website also carries information about the the killed journalists, where the crimes occured, what the journalists were reporting on when they died as well as ways to support the victim's familiy and support the campaign.
A report by CPJ states that unpunished violence supports impunity and incentivizes violence.
Note from the editor: This story was originally published by the Knight Center’s blog Journalism in the Americas, the predecessor of LatAm Journalism Review.