Colombian foundation will receive the IAPA Chapultepec Grand Prize



Miami, Mar 29 (EFE) .- The Inter-American Press Association (IAPA) announced this Tuesday the granting of the Chapultepec 2022 Grand Prize to the Colombian organization Foundation for Press Freedom (FLIP) for its “professional, tireless and courageous work in favor of freedom of expression and of the press in Colombia”.

The executive director of FLIP, Jonathan Bock, will receive the distinction in a virtual ceremony on April 19, within the framework of the IAPA’s Mid-Year meeting, according to a statement from this press freedom defense organization with based in Miami.

For Bock, “this important recognition by the IAPA is essential for the defense of the press in Colombia, but we also hope that it stimulates and strengthens the work of journalists, media outlets and organizations throughout the region.”

“The wave of repression against the press throughout the continent is evident. It feeds on authoritarian leaders who seek to delegitimize the work of journalists in public opinion. It is at this juncture that the work of civil society organizations and defenders of freedom of expression must be enhanced,” he added.

Created in 1996, FLIP monitors and deals with cases of attacks against the media and communicators; provides urgent support to journalists in danger and warns about risk factors for the profession.

“Our Executive Committee had an easy task in electing FLIP by consensus for its extraordinary work in Colombia,” IAPA President Jorge Canahuati said in a statement.

Canahuati, executive president of Grupo Opsa, from Honduras, affirmed that “FLIP is a solid support of Colombian society, whose efficient work methodology is studied and emulated by other organizations at a global level.”

Carlos Jornet, president of the IAPA’s Committee on Freedom of the Press and Information, added: “We recognize the titanic battles that FLIP has waged” and recalled its work “in the harsh times of violence against journalism, in the decade of 1990, and how, since then, they have rejuvenated their objectives and lines of action”.

Through its legal area, FLIP has joined the IAPA as a representative in the work against impunity before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR).

She is a co-petitioner in the cases of Colombian journalists Guillermo Cano, assassinated in 1986, and Julio Daniel Chaparro and Jorge Torres, assassinated in 1991, presented by the IAPA before the IACHR.

FLIP has published reports on the use of official advertising as a censorship tool and the behavior of digital media during the 2021 national strike.

In addition, it prepared an information cartography, which allowed verifying that more than 60% of the municipalities of Colombia are information deserts, as they do not have local information media.

FLIP, together with the Center for Justice and International Law (CEJIL), represented Colombian journalist Jineth Bedoya before the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (IA Court) for being a victim of kidnapping, torture and sexual violence in 2000.

In 2021, the Inter-American Court issued a historic sentence that condemned the Colombian State.

The IAPA and CEJIL received the 2022 Global Prize for Freedom of Expression for Excellence in Legal Services from Columbia University, in recognition of their joint work in the case of Jineth Bedoya vs. Colombia.

The president of the IAPA’s Chapultepec Subcommittee, Armando Castilla, highlighted FLIP’s “professional, tireless and courageous work in favor of freedom of expression and the press.”

Before they received the Chapultepec Grand Prize, among others Martin Baron, former executive director of The Washington Post; Edison Lanza, former Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR); the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press; Fernando Henrique Cardoso, former president of Brazil, and Mario Vargas Llosa, Nobel Prize for Literature 2010.

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Colombian foundation will receive the IAPA Chapultepec Grand Prize