Americas

2011

Alerts   |   Venezuela

Venezuelan newspaper shut, executives charged

New York, August 24, 2011--The Committee to Protect Journalists condemns the closure of the Venezuelan newspaper 6to Poder after a judge ruled on Monday that the weekly cease distribution. The newspaper's owner and a top executive were charged with incitement to hatred, insulting a public official, and publicly denigrating women after the paper published a satirical article on government officials, local press reports said.

August 24, 2011 5:17 PM ET

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Statements   |   Colombia

Uribe labels journalists "terrorism sympathizers"

New York, August 24, 2011--The Committee to Protect Journalists is concerned about comments made by former Colombian President Álvaro Uribe Vélez that could endanger journalists Juan Forero and Claudia Julieta Duque and jeopardize press freedom in the country. Forero is the Washington Post's Andean region correspondent and Duque is a journalist who works in Colombia.

Blog   |   Haiti

Left for dead in Haiti: How CPJ helped one journalist

Pierre Elisem was shot by Aristide supporters in Port-au-Prince in February 2004. (AP/Walter Astrada)

Ten years ago I joined the staff of the Committee to Protect Journalists to launch the Journalist Assistance program, an initiative, as CPJ board member Gene Roberts describes, developed to establish a standing direct response mechanism for journalists facing threats and attacks. When I left the position in 2009, many people asked me what case stood out the most. 

August 19, 2011 2:37 PM ET

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Blog   |   Canada

A global partnership to assist journalists in distress

One of the most rewarding parts of my job at Canadian Journalists for Free Expression (CJFE) for the last eight years has been my work on our Journalists in Distress program. Through this program I have had quick glimpses into the lives of hundreds of courageous journalists from countries all over the world. Most of these journalists I will never meet, as I do this work sitting at my desk in Toronto, trying to get details about where they have come from, what danger they face, and what help they need. 

August 15, 2011 3:39 PM ET

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Blog   |   Cuba

Assisting journalists in Cuba: Hurdles in prison and beyond

CPJ's Journalist Assistance program helped support the families of Cuban journalists held in jails like this one on the outskirts of Havana. (Reuters/Claudia Daut)

In mid-2006, CPJ's Journalist Assistance program began sending regular remittances to the families of independent Cuban journalists in prison. By CPJ's count, of the 29 journalists jailed during a massive crackdown in 2003, 24 were still in prison at the time--making Cuba the world's second-worst jailer of journalists in the world. The remittances, sent monthly, helped families cover travel expenses to the prisons--sometimes two days away on shabby buses--and basic maintenance for the jailed editors and reporters--ranging from food staples like rice and beans, to clothes, bowls and spoons, to aspirin and specialized medications, all unavailable behind bars. At the time, I was the Research Associate for the Americas program, and my job was to contact families and catalog urgency and needs.

Letters   |   Peru

Peru must take steps to decriminalize defamation

Dear President Humala: We congratulate you on your first week in office as president of Peru and would like to take this opportunity to urge you to sign into law a recent bill passed by Congress that eliminates prison terms for defamation, an important first step toward the decriminalization of libel in your country. At a time when archaic criminal defamation laws are being used by officials to punish critical reporters, we call on you to uphold your pledge to protect freedom of expression by signing this bill and promoting the necessary changes toward a complete decriminalization of libel, leaving redress for this offense to civil courts.

Alerts   |   Dominican Republic

Critical journalist murdered in Dominican Republic

New York, August 3, 2011--The body of José Agustín Silvestre, a critical Dominican journalist who ran a magazine and hosted a television program, was found Tuesday morning shortly after he was seized by gunmen in the southeastern city of La Romana, according to local press reports

August 3, 2011 4:26 PM ET

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Blog   |   Mexico

Journalists flee Veracruz as cartels crack down

In the port city of Veracruz, Mexico, reporters are fleeing for their lives or are in hiding, according to Notiver, the city's principal newspaper, and local reporters. This flight began on Wednesday after the decapitated body of Yolanda Ordaz de la Cruz, a police beat reporter for Notiver for nearly three decades, was found near the building of Imagen, another local newspaper. Journalists in the city told CPJ that they assumed the murder was a general threat to reporters working for all news organizations. This follows the murders on June 20 of the city's most well-known columnist, Miguel Ángel López Velasco, his wife, Agustina, and their son, Misael. Both father and son worked at Notiver.

Alerts   |   Brazil

Political journalist murdered in Brazil

New York, July 27, 2011--Veteran political reporter Auro Ida was shot and killed on Friday in the city of Cuiabá in the central west state of Mato Grosso, according to the local press. The well-known journalist had served as the city government's press secretary, was a founder of the news site Midianews, and wrote an opinion column for another news website, Olhar Direto. The Committee to Protect Journalists called on Brazilian authorities today to thoroughly investigate his murder and bring those responsible to justice.
July 27, 2011 3:46 PM ET

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Alerts   |   Mexico

Journalist found decapitated in Mexico

The funeral procession of Miguel Angel López Velasco, who was killed with his wife and son on June 20. (AP)

New York, July 26, 2011--The decapitated head and body of veteran reporter Yolanda Ordaz de la Cruz was found early this morning, according to officials in the Mexican state of Veracruz. The journalist was abducted on Sunday by armed men as she left her house.

2011

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