Miami (May 8, 2012)—The Inter American Press Association (IAPA), in conjunction with the Brazilian Association of Investigative Journalism (Abraji), is to hold at the end of this month in Rio de Janeiro a seminar that will examine cases of options for minimizing risks while covering the news in Brazil, where so far this year four members of the press have been killed.
The seminar titled “Reporting Under Risk in Brazil: Tim Lopes, 10 Years Later,” to be held May 31 and June 1 at the Propaganda and Marketing High School in Rio de Janeiro (ESPM-RJ), will also commemorate the 10th anniversary of Lopes’ murder on June 2, 2002. The two-day event forms part of the IAPA’s Impunity Project.
The discussion panels, to be conducted by experienced journalists and representatives of press organizations, will focus on the various kinds of risks and what news companies, reporters and photographers can do to avoid them.
During the seminar there will also be a review of crimes against the press being made federal offenses as a means of thwarting violence, as envisioned in legislative bills and proposed amendments to the Constitution now under debate in Brazil’s National Congress.
The IAPA has since 2002 been asking the federal government to make crimes against human rights, including the murder of journalists, federal offenses, a request repeated in August 2003 during the Judicial Conference on Press Freedom held by the IAPA in São Paulo and in which Supreme Court justices and judges from 25 states in Brazil took part.
In 2010 the hemisphere organization urged the Brazilian government to support a constitutional reform sought by former senator Roberto Cavalcanti, so as to make it automatic that cases of crimes against journalists and those against press freedom be dealt with under federal jurisdiction, an initiative that was based on the proposals and conclusions discussed at a forum that the IAPA, Abraji and the Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro (PUV-Rio) sponsored that year in Rio de Janeiro. The issue was discussed in 2007 at the Hemisphere Conference “The Judiciary, Press, Impunity,” in which judges from around the Americas coincided on the need to come up with new legal reforms to more effectively deal with attacks upon freedom of expression and prevent crimes against journalists going unpunished.
The murder of Tim Lopes, a reporter with TV Globo who was doing an investigation in a Rio de Janeiro slum into sexual exploitation and drug trafficking, became a landmark in Brazil in the discussion of the risks for journalists and will be one of the cases that will be featured in the seminar.
Also to be reviewed will be the role of the inter-American system in encouraging negotiations concerning unpunished crimes, as occurred in the case of Manoel Leal de Oliveira, killed in Itabuna, Bahia state, in 1998, and another 10 cases that the IAPA has submitted to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights over the last 10 years.
The seminar is free of charge and is sponsored by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. Invitations have been issued to journalists, media workers and students.
For more information please contact Clarinha Glock of the IAPA’s Rapid Response Unit in Brazil at firstname.lastname@example.org.
To register go to