EFE, via 14ymedio, Miami, 2 May 2018 — The Inter American Press Association (IAPA) is commemorating World Press Freedom Day on Wednesday in a forum in Miami, and with a message of concern over the growing restrictions on journalists’ work and the persistence of “authoritarianism” in Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua.
IAPA’s president, the Peruvian Gustavo Mohme, spoke about “the lack of protection of journalists to carry out their work safely and without restrictions and the numerous reports of harassment of the press that manifests itself in various ways and in many countries” of the American continent.
His message for World Press Freedom Day, celebrated tomorrow, May 3, complements the forum that will be held today by the IAPA, the Inter-American Institute for Democracy (IID), the Foundation for Human Rights in Cuba and Fundamedios.
The forum will hear presentations from, among others, the Cuban journalist, writer and analyst Carlos Alberto Montaner, exiled in Miami and president of IID, independent Cuban journalist Yoani Sánchez, and Ricardo Trotti, the executive director of the IAPA, an organization that addresses written and digital press in the entire continent.
Mohme said in his message that, just between May 2017 and today, 23 journalists have been killed in the exercise of their profession.
Brazil, El Salvador, Ecuador, Guatemala, Honduras and Mexico, the scenes of some of these crimes, are “functional” democracies like many of the countries in the region, but, Mohme points out, “restrictions on the practice of journalism proliferate” despite this.
Obstacles range from regulations and decrees to financial strangulation of the media, censorship, harassment and ultimately death.
Mohme also referred to the “authoritarianism still existing” in Cuba, Nicaragua and Venezuela and emphasized that it was for this reason that he defended, at the 8th Summit of the Americas held in Lima, Peru in April, the need to persevere in the promotion of democracy and the denunciation of violations of human rights.
“We will only cease our demands when all Nicaraguans, Venezuelans and Cubans have the right to freely elect their representatives, dissent is respected, and they can exercise the rights of assembly, movement and expression,” he said.
Mohme also said that the digital revolution presents new scenarios and challenges in relation to freedoms and stressed that the IAPA is dedicated to incorporating principles into the Declaration of Chapultepec that address new developments in technology.
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