Unsolved murders, violent government repression, oppressive anti-media laws and the ever-increasing ties between big money and big government were among the issues of debate at the 71st General Assembly of the Inter-American Press Association (IAPA).
Colombia dropped off the Committee to Protect Journalist’s (CPJ) 2015 Global Impunity Index that was released Oct. 8, leaving Mexico and Brazil as the sole Latin American countries in the list of the top 14 countries where murderers of journalists “go free.”
When Miguel Ángel López Solana received the news on August 1 that fellow journalist Rubén Espinosa had been murdered in Mexico City, the entire nightmare that had forced him to escape from Veracruz four years earlier came back to him.
In the first six months of 2015 alone, there were 59 documented attacks against journalists in Guatemala, according to a report released last week by the Observatory for Journalists of the Center for Informative Reports about Guatemala (CERIGUA for its acronym in Spanish).
Rodrigo Neto, a journalist and radio host from Ipatinga, Minas Gerais, denounced injustices and held police accountable.
Former Colombian legislator and politician Ferney Tapasco has been sentenced to 36 years in prison for being the mastermind of the 2002 murder of La Patria deputy editor Orlando Sierra who was killed because of his work.
In Brazil, a country with a history of impunity concerning crimes against journalists, a man has been sentenced to 12 years in prison for the 2013 murder of journalist Rodrigo Neto, reporter for newspaper Vale do Aço, in Minas Gerais.
Radio journalist Bernardo Javier Cano Torres of Iguala has been released after being held by kidnappers for 20 days, according to local media reports.
Police found the tortured body of Djalma Santos da Conceição, a 53-year-old journalist for community radio station RCA FM in the state of Bahia, on May 23, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ).
Authorities in Paraguay have sent Brazil a formal request for the extradition of the man accused of being the mastermind behind the murder of journalist Pablo Medina on Oct.16, 2014.