Fundación para la Libertad de Prensa - FLIP

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Thursday, 03 March 2016 17:13

FLIP urges the mayor of Yopal to respect the journalistic activity in the region

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In the morning of this Tuesday, la FLIP knew about a release signed by several journalists of Casanare who stated to have known a “systematic plan” aiming at impeaching that the journalists register juridical facts concerning the situation around the mayor of Yopal, Jhon Jairo Torres, known as “Jhon Calzones”

The FLIP also knew about a conversation by WhatsApp in which the private secretary of the mayor Torres, Carlos Cárdenas, and his press secretary, Yesid Gómez, made various comments against the work of journalists.

The FLIP has registered several worrying situations against the press which involve Torres and supporters of the “Movimiento social la Bendicion”, led by the mayor of Yopal.
To the FLIP, these situations are worrying in the region and obviously do not tend to increase the respect toward journalism. A proof of it is the recent death threat addressed to the journalist and columnist of La Voz de Casanare, Javier Gaviria.

The FLIP urges the mayor Jhon Jairo Torres so that any kind of actions toward press stops knowing that the duty to guarantee the freedom of press is directly linked to his responsibility of public servant. Before sending messengers which could be seen as stigmatizing and intimidating, he should use the constitutional mechanisms to contest the contents published by the means of communication.

The FLIP wants to remind Jhon Jairo Torres, one more time, that following the inter-American commission for human rights, he, as mayor has the obligation to guarantee the freedom of speech and personal integrity, this requires that the public servants refrain from doing statements which expose journalists and workers of the means of communication to major risks of violence.

Finally, the FLIP invites the mayor John Jairo Torres to sign publically a commitment for the respect toward freedom of press in his capacity as local representative; we suggest the signing in official form of the declaration of Chapultepec, adopted by other local representatives in Latin America since the 11 of March 1994.