Ricardo Trotti, Argentine journalist and press freedom director of the Inter-American Press Association, received the Fight for Freedom of Expression Award in recognition of his defense of independent journalism in the Americas, during the organization's 67th annual General Assembly in Lima, Peru.
Nine organizations selected Trotti for the award. Trotti has worked for IAPA since 1993, heads the Impunity Project to urge punishment for crimes committed against journalists, and wrote the book La dolorosa libertad de prensa (The sorrowful freedom of the press).
“Trotti went on from being the editor-in-chief of a newspaper in a province next to mine to traveling throughout the Americas to become one of the most vigilant custodians of freedom of expression in each of our countries,” said Daniel Dessain, chairman of the Press Freedom Committee of the Argentine Newspaper Association.
During the Assembly, IAPA said it will continue the fight to decriminalize defamation, slander and libel in the region, and remembered journalists recently charged and arrested for press crimes in Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and Paraguay.
Only Mexico and Panama have successfully decriminalized "crimes against honor." El Salvador has made some advances in this area while Argentina, Costa Rica, Peru and Uruguay have pending bills to decriminalize slander but they have yet to be voted into law, according to the Associated Press.
In other business at the IAPA general assembly, the organization also announced the publication of a bilingual book recounting experiences of former IAPA scholarship winners.