Preface: What is the IAPA? iii
Testimonies and World Chronology
Horatio Aguirre 2
Enrique Altamirano 13
Danilo Arbilla 18
Robert U. Brown 26
Alfonso Canelas 38
Luis Gabriel Cano 40
Jaime Chamorro 46
Violeta Chamorro 51
Oliver F. Clarke 54
Juan Luis Correa 60
Robert J. Cox 64
Hector Davalos 67
Jorge Fascetto 74
lack Fuller 81
Rosario A. de Galindo 86
Andres Garcia Lavin 93
1966-1967 97 Bartolome Mitre 188
Mario Gusmao 98 Julio E. Munoz 191
Edward H. Harte 101 1979-1980 195
1968-1969 107 Luis Teotilo NOliez 196
Jose Santiago Healy 108 Laurence G. O'Donnell ... 198
Andrew Heiskell 110 Romulo O'Farrill, Jr. 201
1969 (contd.)-1970 117 1981-1982 207
Saturnino Herrero Mitjans .. 118 German E. Ornes 208
Argentina Hills 122 1983-1984 211
Lee Hills 122 Tony Pederson 212
1971-1972 135 Nelida Rajneri 215
Ra61 E. Kraiselburd 136 Winston Robles 220
David Lawrence Jr. 144 1985 223
Gonzalo Lean° Reyes 149 Luis Fernando Santos 224
1973-1974 155 Scott C. Schurz 229
Rodrigo Madrigal Nieto 156 Edward Seaton 232
Jaime Mantilla Anderson 163 1986-1987 237
Earl Maucker 166 Renato SimOes 238
1975-1976 171 John M. Simpson 242
James McClatchy 172 Jayme Sirotsky 246
Julio Cesar F. de Mesquita .... 177 1988-1989 248
1977-1978 179 Eduardo Ulibarri 249
Alejandro Miro Quesada C. . 180 William P.Williamson, Jr. 253
Alejandro Miro Quesada G.. 183 Aldo Zuccolillo 259
I Unpunished Crimes Against Journalists: Conclusions of Hemisphere Conference 263
II The Declaration of Chapultepec 269
Contributions to the Ten Principles of Chapultepec 273
III Charter, Bylaws and Rules of the Inter American Press Association 283
IV Past Presidents of the Inter American Press Association 295
E OWED THIS BOOK TO THE IAPA. Ever since the excellent work
of Mary A. Gardner dealing with the history of our organization
from 1926 to 1960, we had not gone back over the past, perhaps
because the flood of events occurring in these past four decades never gave us
a breathing space in our unending battle in defense of press freedom and in
taking those actions day in and day out, year after year, that we needed to take
to carry out our organization's mission.
But that book was needed at that time — after 34 years of magnificent, var-
ied experiences, the IAPA was by then established and its structure, composi-
tion and objectives consolidated. It was inevitahle that the IAPA story should
all be put on record for a public largely unaware of it. So it was that the book
was produced in English.
It is a different situation today. Nearly 40 years later, the PAPA is well
known throughout the Western Hemisphere. But there is still no let-up in the
Association's efforts to carry out its mission. On the contrary, these are increas-
ing day by day, not only in defense of press freedom but in constructively pro-
moting it through the work of the Press Institute and action to improve jour-
nalism education in our universities.
However, despite the intensity of the efforts we are making now and the
need to move forward, and while we still have little time to look back, we be-
lieved it was necessary somehow to compile the most vivid experiences of these
past decades. But not in an academic format as we did previously, instead in a
more lively and personalized way through the living memory of some of the
Association's former presidents and prominent officers — that is, the real play-
ers. Because when all is said and done, organizations are made up of people.
That is why we decided this time riot to come up with a new history re-
lated by just one person. However professionally objective the author might
be, it would only end up being a purely personal interpretation — laudable, but
difficult for everyone to agree upon.
Instead, we have opted for stories related by the players themselves in re-
ports that, with the interviewer's questions removed, become real testimonies.
This has the added advantage of ensuring both a diversity of views — some-
thing we have always respected and defended — and the ethics of personal re-
sponsibility, which we have always encouraged and appreciated.
As I reach the end of my term of office, I consider it an honor to be able to
bring it to a close with the presentation of this book in its English- and Span-
ish-language editions, a book whose only purpose is to continue spreading
throughout the Americas the word of the mission and work of the IAPA.
What is the IAPA?
The Inter American Press Association is a non-profit organization dedi-
cated to defending freedom of expression and of the press throughout
Its chief aims:
• To defend press freedom wherever it is challenged in the Americas.
• To protect the interests of the press in the Americas.
• To advocate the dignity, rights and responsibility of journalism.
• 'lb encourage high standards of professional and business conduct.
• To foster the exchange of ideas and information that contribute to
the professional and technical development of the press.
• To foster a wider knowledge arid greater interchange among the
peoples of the Americas in support of the basic principles of a free
society and individual liberty.
A brief history of the IAPA:
The IAPA began to develop in 1926 when some 130 Western Hemi-
sphere journalists, gathered in Washington, D.C. for the First Pan
American Congress of Journalists, adopted a resolution calling for the
establishment of a permanent inter-American organization of journal-
ists. The Congress next met in Mexico City in 1942, at which time it
created the Permanent Commission that would become the IAPA at a
conference in Havana the following year.
At subsequent meetings in Caracas, Bogota and Quito, the IAPA gradu-
ally became established as an institution. While it was predominantly
a Latin American organization at this time, in 1946 a small group of
North American editors and publishers founded an IAPA of the United
States as a national chapter of the hemispheric institution.
Perhaps the most pivotal year in the IAPA's history was 1950' . Until
'This is why we decided to include among the testimonies a summarized chronol-
ogy of major events that made headlines in newspapers throughout the Americas
between 1950 and 1989, enabling readers to put developments in the IAPA in a
global historical context.
that year, the organization's conferences were sponsored and paid for
by host governments and held at their convenience. Delegations sat
and voted by country and members were not always journalists.
Delegates, meeting in New York in 1950, changed all that when they
adopted new bylaws precluding such sponsorships. Henceforth, the
IAPA would be an independent body, answering to no government or
The organization is supported solely by membership dues. Equally im-
portant was the provision that delegates to the meetings would repre-
sent only their own publications, each with one vote.
At first, as the organization was restructuring almost from scratch, with
a limited number of members and an empty treasury, these sweeping
changes created considerable financial hardship. Notwithstanding, a
new, independent IAPA - nurtured by a handful of members - flour-
ished and has grown steadily ever since.
Today, the IAPA enjoys a membership in excess of 1,300, representing
newspapers arid magazines from Patagonia to Alaska, with a combined
circulation of nearly 45 million.
The IAPA has two autonomous affiliates - the IAPA Press Institute,
which offers Latin American members advice on technical publishing
matters, and the IAPA Scholarship Fund, which provides funds for edu-
The organization is governed by a Board of Directors that reports to
the full membership at the annual General Assembly, whose meeting
sites alternate between North and South America. An Executive Com-
mittee oversees the day-to-day activity of the organization's staff, which
works out of the IAPA's headquarters in Miami, Florida.
Freedom of the Press
The Committee on Freedom of the Press and Information - the core of
the IAPA - monitors threats to and violations of press freedom through-
out the Western Hemisphere and develops appropriate responses.
Each country has a regional vice chairman who reports to the Com-
mittee on issues and events affecting his or her country. The reports
are discussed and analyzed twice a year — at the IAPA Midyear Meet-
ing, held in the spring, and the General Assembly, which meets in Oc-
tober. The Committee reports its conclusions and recommendations to
the Board of Directors, which decides on a course of action.
Response to a threat or challenge to press freedom can range from a
simple resolution announcing that the organization is aware of and
vigilant in responding to a potential threat, to sending a special mis-
sion of members to conduct additional investigations and/or to take
the issue directly to those responsible for the problem. The Committee's
annual report of abuses of the press is considered the most compre-
hensive document of its kind.
IAPA Press Institute
In 1957, IAPA members founded the IAPA Technical Center, a separate
non-profit entity to provide members — especially those in Latin
America — with technical information and assistance. The underpin-
ning philosophy was that a technically sound publication would be
better able to ward off attempts to extinguish it.
The Technical. Center expanded its activities in 1962 with a $1 million
grant from the Ford Foundation, and has since widened its scope and
become fully self-supporting.
In 1995, its name was changed to the IAPA Press Institute. Today, the
organization's work includes seminars, publication of the magazine
Hora de Cierre, which includes an insert in Portuguese, and it has in
addition published several journalism texts.
IAPA Scholarship Fund
Realizing that perceptive reporting would contribute to better under-
standing among the countries of the Western Hemisphere, the IAPA
established the IAPA Scholarship Fund in 1954 as an autonomous af-
filiate, through generous contributions from foundations and member
The organization's programs offer young professional journalists an
exciting opportunity to study or work abroad for nine months.
Individuals may solicit a scholarship by submitting an application be-
fore December 31. Winners are announced at the Midyear Meeting the
Application forms and information about qualifying may he obtained
by writing the IAPA Scholarship Fund at the IAPA headquarters
in Miami, Florida.
Each year, the IAPA recognizes outstanding work of journalists and
newspapers in the Americas with a variety of awards and prizes. The
awards, financed exclusively by voluntary donations from members,
are given for excellence and in recognition of those who have distin-
guished themselves in the communities they serve.
flora de Cierre is a Spanish-language magazine for publishing industry
people of the Americas, and is widely considered the predominant
source of news and information on the technical aspects of publish-
ing, although it is planned to widen its content.
With a readership of more than 15,000 throughout South and Central
America and the Caribbean, Hora de Cierre also serves as an important
advertising vehicle for companies that wish to market their goods and
services to the vast Latin American publishing market.
The Press Institute has also published a Spanish-English / English-Span-
ish dictionary of printing and graphic arts terms, a manual for journal-
ists, a style manual and several pamphlets on newspaper administra-
IAPA News (NotiSIP in Spanish and NotiSIP Edicao Brasil in Portuguese)
is the bi-monthly newsletter published by the IAPA to keep members
informed about current activities and events.
The newsletter also reports on freedom of the press issues and carries
reports on the activities and accomplishments of members, a calendar
of events, etc.
• Under the leadership of Jawaharlal Nehru, India becomes the
world's most populous democracy.
• North Korea invades South Korea.
• Scientist Klaus Fuchs is sentenced to 14 years in prison for hand-
ing vital U.S. atomic secrets to the Soviet Union.
• Irish playwright George Bernard Shaw dies aged 94.
• Soviet dancer and choreographer Vaslav Nijinsky dies in Britain at
the age of 60.
• American surgeon R.H. Lawler performs the first kidney transplant.
• South African statesman Jan Smuts, former Boer War leader, dies
• American swimmer Florence Chadwick smashes the women's world
record for crossing the English Channel with a time of 13 hours 23
• The United Nations moves its headquarters to a new building in
Manhattan, New York.
• U.N. forces repel a joint Chinese-North Korean offensive near the
• President Truman fires General MacArthur as U.N. forces com-
mander-in-chief after he threatens to invade China.
• Argentine race driver Juan Manuel Fangio wins the French Grand
• Colored people are removed from the electoral register and pre-
vented from voting in future.
• Deutsche Grammophon launches the first 33 rpm long-play record.
• In New York, the WCBS TV network broadcasts a baseball game for
the first time in color.
• It is estimated that more than 1 million South Koreans have been
killed since the start of the war with North Korea.
American writer J.D. Salinger publishes his novel "The Catcher in
the Rye," whose criticism of adults makes it a hit among the
(Diario Las Americas, Miami, Florida)
Y FIRST CONTACT WITH THE TAPA came when, as a Nica-
raguan exiled in Panama, I was finishing my law studies
while I worked at the Panama America, whose editor was Dr.
Harmodio Arias, one of the great Spanish-speaking lawyers. Despite my
youth, 1 was an editorial writer there and I got to know the old IAPA,
which later reorganized in New York, the one where Juan Peron of Ar-
gentina wanted to sweep the board at a meeting in Uruguay where he
sent an enormous number of delegates to win the elections — but his
I had left my homeland under the protection of two flags — of the
United States and Panama. In the case of the United States, my situa-
tion was exceptional as that country had never granted asylum. But
the circumstances brought it about. International affairs interested me
a great deal and I was anxious to know just what was that organization
called the IAPA that had been active since 1942 in Havana and Mexico
City. But by the time I was fully involved in it, it was by then the IAPA
of 1948 to 1950, reorganizing itself in New York.
When I say fully involved, that's exactly what I was — fully dedi-
cated, along with my newspaper work, which I put at the service of
disseminating the objectives and activities of the IAPA. So I worked and
served on various committees — the Committee on Freedom of the Press
and Information, Awards Committee, etc. I particularly remember that
in those days there was more time available than today, which meant
we could work more slowly and conscientiously, as we used to in Mi-
ami Beach with William. Pepper in the Press Freedom Committee and
with Jules Dubois.
Diario Las Americas in the IAPA
We went to a General Assembly for the first time in Mexico in 1953,
where the Diario Las Americas — which I had just founded on July 4
that year — applied for membership. In 1954, I had the pleasure of meet-
ing Tina Hills, who had recently married Angel Ramos, a close friend
of mine, like a brother. I had to work hard with the newly-launched,
still modest newspaper, and had to face the financial challenge that
was involved — and remains so today — in belonging to an organization
such as the IAPA where those of us who take part in the activities, trips
and meetings have to pay our own expenses. But I had to do it because
I had to be there both for the organization and for the newspaper —
any time the IAPA met, my readers were always informed, in detail,
about what was happening in its committees and plenary sessions.
The years went by until in 1964 1 was elected to the Board of Di-
rectors in Mexico City — and I have remained on it ever since — and
later president of the IAPA and chairman of the International Affairs
Committee, which I remain to this day.
But I would now like to turn to certain battles that the IAPA waged,
winding up these reminiscences with Willy Gutierrez, creator of the
Technical Center, now known as the Press Institute, a fundamental bul-
wark of the Association.
The JAVA waged a Titanic battle against licensing, or obligatory
membership of a colegio — and the emphasis is on obligatory — in or-
der to be able to work as a journalist anywhere in the world. Naturally,
what interested us was our geographical and regional area. We decided
to put the issue before the Inter-American Human Rights Court — an
inter-governmental agency set up under a treaty and governed under
international law — with the aim that it give a ruling or advisory opin-
ion that licensing is a violation of the Universal Declaration of Human
The IAPA, as a non-governmental organization, had no legal stand-
ing to approach the inter-American Human Rights Court, so would
have at least to get the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights
to recommend that the Court hear the legal arguments of a non-gov-
ernmental organization from civil society. But it turned out that the
Commission was basically political, being made up of representatives
of governments. It then occurred to me that the only way to proceed
was to find some government that would champion our case in the
Court. It happened that there was a conference of the Inter-American
Newspapermen's Association in San Jose, Costa Rica. I went to it with
Alejandro Aguirre, who was already very active in our Association, and
I spoke with Costa Rican President Alberto Monge, who was there to
speak at the conference's opening ceremony.
I said to him more or less as follows: "Mr. President, you know that
in order to practice journalism where colegio membership is obliga-
tory, this must be done as the law stipulates. Whereas, in truth and
justice, what is really needed to work as a journalist is an ability to use
the written word, or spoken word in the case of the broadcast media,
and this is an inherent right of human beings that they are born with.
Because nobody is born, for example, with the right to perform heart
surgery or build a Brooklyn bridge without meeting all the public safety
requirements spelled out in an academic course in medicine or engi-
neering, or whatever. But that cannot be a requirement to speak or
write. Would Ruben Dario have been prevented from working at La
Nacion in Buenos Aires because he didn't belong to a colegio? Or would
the leader of your party (Monge is a Social Democrat), Carlos Andres
Perez, not have been able to work at Prensa Libre in Costa Rica, here in
your country, during his exile for the same reason? And would Pedro
Joaquin Chamorro, who was not a member of the journalists colegio
and was forced into exile by Somoza, have not been able to work at
the same paper?"
President Monge replied, "I fully agree that it is absurd to require a
journalist to belong to a colegio and that the law should stipulate this.
But what can one do?"
I then explained to him that because this requirement violated the
Universal Declaration of Human Rights and, by derivation, the Ameri-
can Convention on Human Rights, we needed to take the case to the
Court, but to do so we should have the sponsorship of a government,
and that was precisely what we were asking for on behalf of the IAPA.
His response was positive, but he would have to exercise his executive
power in the cabinet, because his foreign minister held that licensing
was democratic and should exist.
However, Monge interceded before the Court so we could present
our case to it; in effect, he obtained for us a kind of "exceptional treat-
ment" which was a real privilege given that he knew that if the matter
came to a vote, his own country would vote against our position. But
it was the only way we could get the Court to hear us. With the valu-
able contributions of Costa Rican attorney Fernando Guier, German
Emilio Ornes and two or three other people, we were able to make a
presentation of great significance as a matter of principle, demonstrat-
ing that the requirement of obligatory colegio membership truly
amounts to a violation of the Declaration of Human Rights. It's clear
that we have not managed to have this view accepted in every coun-
try, but there have been some favorable examples despite the many
pressures, some of them taking the form of blackmail.
The fact is that it was my destiny to have played a key role in this
beautiful battle with the collaboration of all the members of the Board
of Directors and the general membership. Nobody stood in the way.
Everybody cooperated. God or circumstances wanted me to be the one
to get a government that opposed our petition in court to get a go-
ahead for us to present our case. But in order to understand what this
battle over licensing — which is erupting simultaneously on many
fronts, that is in many countries — is all about, we must turn to an-
other concomitant issue that I will now mention.
With German Ornes, Andres Garcia Lavin, Jim Canel and others
we spent nearly a month at the Hilton in Paris, working from 8:00 in
the morning till 11:00 at night on this case and on showing the colos-
sal power that the Soviet Union had over UNESCO in 1978. The Fidel
Castro government and all the Communist governments at the time
all worked together and dominated Mr. M'Bow, a director general who
was totally under the domination of the Soviet Union. The Cuban and
Soviet embassies were where they had their meetings and planning ses-
sions for this purpose.
There were 40 countries that, like us, upheld the thesis that licens-
ing was incompatible with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights
and with the ideal of democratic principles in general. Among them
was Japan, whose ambassador made a splendid speech in which he said
that if painters were licensed, the Cubist school would never have ex-
isted, because the Academy of the time would have rejected it, having
the power to do so because it represented the organized power of the
painters. And it could have done similarly with other schools of paint-
However, these 40 countries were beset by the rest, many more in
number — 100 or 110 or more belonging to the bloc that voted against.
But the worst of it was that UNESCO staff were part of the conspiracy;
naturally, they owed their jobs to the Communists. At the same time,
we had countries on our side that appeared to be democratic but took
the same position as the Soviet Union, among them Costa Rica, Ven-
ezuela and Colombia.
What we could see was that all this was managed with mathemati-
cal precision by the Soviet Union, which knew that one way to con-
quer the world was through the organs of public information, because
the Soviets for years had not been bothering to go about organizing
labor unions — it was better to take over the universities and cultural
centers. No more strikes or unions. A newspaper was worth much more
than a strike. That is, a reporter's story, a headline slipped in, a para-
graph taken out or placed lower down in a story, all those things that
we were well aware of. In all of this could be seen the hand of the So-
viet Union, influencing delegations in the General Assembly and in
any other body or department, no matter how small.
Amadeo M'Bow and his successor
Amadeo M'Bow was a very cultured man, at least in the academic
sense of the word — a well-dressed Communist who didn't know what
courtesy was, at least with us. When he left office, he was succeeded
by a deputy director general, a friend of mine, who knew the monster
from within and who had been the deputy minister of education in
Spain — Federico Mayor Zaragoza. 1 spoke with him and repeated the
arguments I had used in my conversation with the president of Costa
Rica. He knew very well what was happening, and that the weakening
of the Soviet Union had begun. He clearly was not going to be a Com-
munist tool as M'BolA, had been. And he told me, "As director general,
I will not sponsor any campaign that limits freedom of expression or
is aimed at fighting the ideals that you represent." This occurred at a
meeting I had with him in his office accompanied by Alejandro
Aguirre, in which we commented that M'Bow had not even allowed us
to walk in the corridors.
Of course, it was all different with Mayor Zaragoza — we had a
friendly relationship that came from previous encounters, though
somewhat formal. In response to what he said, I told him, "Mr. Direc-
tor General, I have to relay your words to the IAPA's Board of Directors
and I don't want to rely on my memory, because some of my colleagues
might think I was interpreting your remarks wrongly, given my friend-
ship with you, our common language or ethnic background or what-
ever might make me see more in Mayor Zaragoza's position and even-
tual conduct than is the case. Therefore, what I want to do is note your
words on a card I have here so I can transmit them textually and accu-
rately to the Board, without any mistakes. What I want to do is write
them down, without intending that you should sign them." It was by
then 11:00 p.m. and I recall his telling me, "You say you are not asking
me to sign them, but I'll do so." And he did, putting the date and all
on that card, which I have had laminated and still keep at home.
The change certainly was a radical one. Mayor Zaragoza began to
give instructions and he was well aware where things lay. He knew our
position and that of the United States. There followed the U.S. with-
drawal from UNESCO, plus that of Britain and, I believe, of Australia
and Singapore. The case of the United States is a very special one be-
cause its withdrawal was for mainly budgetary reasons but closely
linked with the fact that it was aware the funds were being used for
There was no doubt that our work in uncovering what the Soviet
Union was up to, followed by the Third World countries that supported
it and the Non-Aligned countries, opened the United States' eyes to
the ideology it was helping to pay for. It could not go on paying for a
bureaucracy which, as some of its delegates said, "stuck a knife into
liberty." The United States could not conceive that in order to work at
an American newspaper one had to be a member of a guild or be a
university journalism school graduate. Even a foreigner needed only
to comply with the immigration laws. But returning to Mayor Zaragoza,
I should mention that up to now, with his term of office nearly ended,
he has kept his promise despite constant pressure against him — there
are still many more votes in the UNESCO General Assembly against
free speech than there are for it.
New World Information Order
On the same subject, the New World Information Order — which
continues being a threat — is based on licensing, because that is what
would enable the Marxist-Leninist sponsors of the New World Infor-
mation Order to make the world do what they want, for example to
ban what they don't want to be published and to publish what they
want to be published. It is a fact that they largely run the boards of
directors of the colegios and such. So for them, the New World Infor-
mation Order has been, and continues to be, of vital importance to
dominate the news media. How? Through those colegios. And why do
they run those colegios? Because they are the ones with enough abil-
ity, drive and dedication to do so.
In this regard, I might mention the famous Commission of Seven
Wise Men of Mr. McBride, who played on the Soviet team. The Com-
mission was more than an arm of the UNESCO director general's office
for this purpose. In some way it appeared perhaps as a gentle media-
tor, but deep down it was something else. For us defenders of a free
press, the McBride Commission was a real headache, and that's how I
still remember it today. We got to have dinner with McBride, but it
was all tied up with a series of situations which, in contrast to our open
position in defense of freedom of expression, were always subordinated
to negotiations and shadowy things undertaken by McBride with the
blessing of the Soviet Union.
On one occasion, he went to an IAPA General Assembly to explain
the reasons for his Commission's opinion, but he convinced nobody.
Without openly proclaiming his adherence to the Soviet Union, with-
out saying, "I'm a USSR man," he played on their ideological team. Of
course, he did not act like the Cuban delegation. UNESCO had ap-
pointed him, but who appointed UNESCO? Why didn't they name
Lord McGregor of Britain? Those who decided such appointments were
part of the conspiracy.
They had to find a McBride - may he rest in peace, as he has passed
away, may my words not offend him. But he was named specifically
for that. And he had so much power that we had to watch out in the
meetings or, for example, at a breakfast with him one morning, as to
who might attend with us, because it might not be appropriate for John
Doe or So-and-So to come along with us. We had to take even that
kind of precaution so as not to clash or damage our position.
The fact is that the Soviet Union managed all those people, but the
agency that did the coordination, had the financial resources to hold
conferences, name commissions, invite people, print books and place
whoever they wanted in key positions was UNESCO. And who did it
place in those positions? Without a doubt, Communists - Venezuelan,
Nicaraguan or whatever - moreover proclaiming the need to establish
a New World Information Order with the ridiculous argument of the
existence of an imbalance in information produced by the industrial-
ized world, owners of the big television networks, news agencies, etc.
As if they were naively discovering the inevitable existence of an im-
balance between big and small countries and between the more and
less powerful media.
But to make it clear: How could it be possible and reasonable, for
example, to force a Latin American newspaper to devote 30% of its
space to news from Asia? The media in any part of the world should
publish the news their audience is interested in. With what authority
and under what market rules could you demand that a newspaper of
ours devote at least 100 column inches a month to Singapore? Only
by taking over free enterprise and a free press - which should be the
sole domain of the legitimate owners - could such unreasonable de-
mands be imposed. But I don't think it is worth pursuing this point,
because it is so pointedly obvious.
Protests to dictatorships
Either as IAPA president or as a member of its committees, I took
part in several missions to protest in defense of news media and indi-
vidual journalists whose freedoms had been abridged. I went to Uru-
guay, which at the time was ruled by a military government, but we could
only talk to lower-level military officials and we did not get to see the presi-
In AsunciOn, we could see Stroessner, but after sitting with him at
his conference table, on leaving the Presidential Palace - despite the
control he had over the country - we were set upon by a mob of 20 to
25 people jeering at us.
Stroessner cynically told me that Paraguay was a country ruled by
democratic institutions and the freedom to function that we were ask-
ing for ABC Color was not possible because it was not up to the execu-
tive branch but the judiciary and Paraguay being an almost pure de-
mocracy one branch of government could not invade the jurisdiction
Another case in which I was deeply involved was that of my dear,
never-forgotten friend, Pedro Joaquin Chamorro. At every IAPA meet-
ing and in all its committees my support for Pedro Joaquin Chamorro
and all he stood for was unswerving. I was a political exile because of
Somoza, but I didn't go around systemically, methodically and passion-
ately airing my views because of that, rather my position was based on
strong ideological grounds to do with freedom of expression. I was al-
ways there for Pedro Joaquin, and his wife, Violeta, can attest to that.
There's more: On some occasions we did not necessarily see eye to
eye on certain sociological points of view, but at the core, at the roots,
he knew that he could count on my full support. When they killed
him, these 20 years ago, I was in Madrid. It was 8:00 a.m. there when
they called me at the hotel to give me the news.
There right on the spot I wrote my editorial about him and started
doing what I could to make it known that a hero of press freedom had
that of my newspaper.
I am personally convinced that Pedro Joaquin was killed by the
Sandinistas. I had warned him in New York, where he went to receive
a Maria Moors Cabot Prize and I went with him. During the luncheon
given in his honor by Columbia University, he asked me to interpret
for him. With my many limitations, 1 helped him and when we said
goodbye to each other, I told him, "Pedro Joaquin, be careful; I have
studied Communism and there are two candidates to bring about
Somoza's downfall — the archbishop of Managua, who at the time was
not a cardinal, or Pedro Chamorro. They kill him, make it look like
Somoza did it, and the problem starts."
I was so convinced of this that when I learned in Madrid of his
death, I called my paper to reserve a full page for Central American
news, as I knew things were going to get hot. And since then, Page 6 is
devoted, with no advertisements, to Central America.
Going hack to my conversation with him, I also told him, "And
the more dangerous is you — the Sandinistas would kill you because
you are their competitor and chaos would ensue in Nicaragua, whereas
the archbishop is not a political competitor of theirs." That's what I
told him in late October — and in January they killed him.
After five or six years as president, Violeta was still unable to shed
any light on the crime. It is true that Pedro Joaquin had been shown a
lot of hostility by the Somozas, the father and the sons, but what hap-
pened was that the existence of Pedro Joaquin was a good excuse for
Somoza. Because when anyone came there, he would hold up La Prensa
and say, "Here I'm the head of one of the biggest tyrannies in the his-
tory of the world: now, tell me, in what country can they write what is
being written here?" Of course, this does not mean that there were not
times when La Prensa was shut down and Pedro Joaquin was thrown
in jail and tortured, but there were other times when nothing happened
to him or his paper. When Somoza was told that Pedro had been killed,
he threw up his hands, realizing the kind of problems he would now
have to face.
But my mention of Nicaragua does not end with Somoza, because
after his downfall people were confused and there was a tolerance for
the left that did not exist for other types of government. From the out-
set the question of lack of freedom was raised. Violeta was with her
son in Toronto in 1979, when I told her, "Violeta, what you have signed
is a fire engine — quite the opposite of what we in the IAPA have fought
for along with your husband." She was confused. Her son told her,
"What Horacio is telling you is exactly right." At issue was a ban on
publishing unpopular things — so it was the law she had signed that
would decide what was unpopular. That was cynical and clumsy. She
told me, "It all depends on what you mean by press freedom." She was
clearly confused. That was in 1979 and until 1990 the Cubans were in
Nicaragua. Generally speaking, my newspaper does not go around in-
sulting and so on, it is quite a moderate paper. But in the case of Cuba,
it has to be seen what those barbarians have done.
My newspaper was launched on July 4, 1953, and 22 days later the
attack on the Moncada barracks occurred. We have made kind of min-
utes of all that the revolution has been. A large number of people from
different times and different Cuban ideologies have come across my
desk — after Havana, Miami is the city with most Cubans, it's as simple
as that, I've become more and more involved. They destroyed our Nica-
ragua — it was Fidel wh.o was behind that. The Americans never came.
But coming back to the previous topic, and to wind up on it, the
fact is that during her presidency — no longer as part of a junta, but on
her own — Violeta was unable to get to the bottom of Pedro Joaquin's
murder. I saw her say on television during one of those occasions when
she was having problems with the Sandinistas, "Up to now I still do
not know who killed my husband." So she could not shed any light,
and then she later issued a pardon.
The Technical Center (Press Institute)
As I said at the beginning, I wanted to wind up my testimonial with
the following topic. Unfortunately, that great journalist and statesman
Willy Gutierrez died. It was he who convinced the Americans in New
York, in their offices on Madison Avenue, that they should have a Tech-
nical Center. Willy gave his all. He had a humanistic culture and was a
great patriot and hero. He had fought in the Chaco war and could sleep
for only four or five hours a night due to having been gassed in that
conflict. He was very clear about the need to create the Center to pro-
vide cheap technical assistance to the smaller newspapers — the bigger
ones had their own in-house technical centers and did not need this.
But to a small paper, including Diario Las Americas with its 46 years of
existence and so on, a week-long IAPA conference or series of confer-
ences can be infinitely more useful than to The Washington Post or The
Mann Herald, given that they have their own resources.
That was Willy Gutierrez' idea. He obtained funding, I believe from
the Ford Foundation and others. I, for example, in 1970 or 1972 wanted
to change our old letterpress plant to offset and he helped me a great
deal with that. Ed Scripps — he has since died — also helped me a lot.
He a cousin of Charles Scripps, who was president of the Technical Cen-
ter and provided funding for it. I should also mention another great
fan and supporter of the Technical Center, Jim Copley, who was also a
formidable president of the IAPA who put me on the Executive Com-
mittee because he was aware of my desire to serve the IAPA.
Finally, by way of summing up I would like to mention that to have
managed to get the doors of the Inter-American Rights Court opened
through a government that was not interested in backing us up be-
cause it had a position contrary to our own, can only be recognized as
a truly successful action. That, I would say, along with the UNESCO
action, was my biggest achievement in the IAPA, shared of course with
brilliant colleagues — colleagues who have done an immense amount
of noble and effective things for the IAPA. •
(El Diario de Hoy, San Salvador, El Salvador)
GREATLY MISS MY EARLY YEARS with the Inter American Press
Association. I began to attend its meetings when the Technical Cen-
ter (now Press Institute) was under the wise direction of Guillermo
Gutierrez, who championed the idea of training newspapers in the re-
gion in the use of new technologies and giving new direction to their
reporting. Willy (Gutierrez) went out of his way to involve newspaper
editors in decisions that were usually left up to managers or techni-
Guillermo was a formidable organizer of seminars, which were at-
tended by members of the families that owned the leading newspapers
in the hemisphere. He was careful to choose people who got along with
each other so as to raise the level of debate and thus raise the quality
of the news content and production systems. The topics of the semi-
nars — initially wide-ranging rather than narrowly focused — dealt with
the weak points of most news companies: the use of photographs and
graphics, quality control, emphasis on news reports, editorial indepen-
dence, human interest stories, newsroom management. He would ask
young Latin American newspaper executives to talk about their own
experiences and know-how.
In the seminars, large, medium-size and small newspapers would
all be represented — El Tiempo, El Universo and El Comercio, La Mid&
and La Prensa of Buenos Aires, El Mercurio, Novedades, La Prensa of
Managua, the Caribbean newspapers and publications from inland Ar-
gentina. The speakers were American or Latin American experts, such
as Jorge Zayas from Cuba and Carlos Suarez from Argentina.
The seminars then, as today, were forums for lively discussion —
nobody kept quiet. In one, Guillermo Klappenbach of La NaciOn of
Buenos Aires won the "Golden Microphone" award that his joking col-
leagues presented him. The less imaginative would always ask the
American speakers why their papers did not cover Latin American
news. I took the opposite stance: the news reports, features, denuncia-
tions, editorials and op-ed pieces about El Salvador published in the
U.S. dailies, some of them distorted and malicious, intensified the pro-
digious drama of the war and economic reforms that afflicted the coun-
try in the 1980s.
The Technical Center's open debate and exchange of views, which
continues today in the Press Institute, reflects the nature of the IAPA
in those days — as a forum for unrestricted discussion. The core issue
was, and still is, press freedom in the hemisphere, but other issues were
also raised either by members or by invited speakers.
As a certain time during the past 15 years the unfortunate idea
came about to prohibit any comment on speakers' remarks or presen-
tations. It was decided that only questions would be allowed, but when
these contained any comment, these had to be put in writing. Thus in
an association of free newspapers there is a veiled form of censorship
of free speech.
Challenges in the early years and less clear situations
In the IAPA's early years the challenges were extremely clear: news-
papers and individual journalists who suffered persecution, closures,
assault and even murder by military dictatorships. My father used to
tell me of the open battle waged by Gainza Paz for freedom in Argen-
tina. He was followed by German Ornes against Trujillo and then by
the Riveras and the Zayases, among others, against Castro. There was
the case of newspapers that were apologists of the regime and then
became critics and were persecuted. But with the events in Chile and
the advent of the autocratic Pinochet regime, situations arose that were
not very clear. Was it possible to accuse the Chilean newspapers of col-
laborating with a dictatorship when this itself had restored a substan-
tial amount of freedom to the press?
At one time the poor Chilean newspapers were treated like the
plague, as they were not allowed to report what was going on in the
country. At the Vancouver meeting 10 or 12 years ago, several of them
— I remember Tomas lvfacHale, Hermogenes Perez de Arce, one of the
Edwards — asked me to put their point of view, as because there was no
member of the Board of Directors from Chile they were on the out-
side. In a somewhat similar way, the Nicaraguans from Novedades had
the same problem — they could not defend themselves.
Should a newspaper owned by a relative of Somoza he defended?
Edgard Solis, its editor, protested weakly when the Chamorros made
accusations against the government and Novedades. Things came to a
head at the 1978 meeting in Miami; the IAPA Board of Directors al-
lowed representatives of organizations and movements opposed to
Somoza to address the meeting without any restriction whatsoever.
When Solis accused the Sandinistas of being Communists, German
Ornes stood up and exclaimed that if he had to choose between being
"pro-Somoza" or a Communist, he would prefer to he the latter.
Novedades was confiscated, the new regime immediately began to
put a stranglehold on La Prensa and Solis, an honest journalist whose
only income was from his work, ended up selling hotdogs on a Miami
street corner until I could extricate him from that calamity. No one
ever denounced the theft of Novedades by the Sandinistas.
Criticism of the organization
To publish in the midst of political storms is no easy thing — for
certain people in the IAPA, you can end up contaminated. Or we are
less equal than the rest. The fact that all along the directors of the or-
ganization are the same people and newspapers has a bearing on how
it sees things. I think that eventually the IAPA officers will have to be
chosen from among several slates, so as to avoid the game of "musical
chairs" that we have had for a long time now and which brings to mind
the election by acclamation practiced in the Soviet presidium.
The existence of aristocracies is inherent in every human group. In
our IAPA to be a champion of freedom of expression is the entree, but
only when the threats come from undemocratic regimes. Denuncia-
tion of terrorists, mafias or populist governments will never be under-
stood, nor will the "underworld" coercion. There really is an advan-
tage when the enemies are old-style dictators.
In all the time that T attended the IAPA meetings with impeccable
regularity, there was never any discussion of the scourge of terrorism
or the issue of disinformation. As I had been the target of an attack —
was caught in the middle of a 20-minute shootout, quite apart from
the machinegunning and bombing of the newspaper's plant — the is-
sue was hardly a theoretical one. That is why I was pleased when at
the San Diego meeting I was invited to take part in a discussion on
kidnapping and terrorism.
But it was a joke. The game was to pontificate about a kidnapping
in a democratic country. One was not allowed to deviate from the sub-
ject, and certainly not talk about what happens in real life. This was
not dealt with in any way. As for disinformation, it was not even raised
as a theoretical point of discussion. But at a meeting in Buenos Aires,
terrorist (or insurgent, if you will) leaders came and told their story.
And we who were there could only submit questions in writing.
I think that in IAPA they would hand you a microphone any time
if your godfather were an American liberal newspaper, as happened in
the case of Jacob() Timmerman.
The Argentine journalists at that meeting were so outraged by what
happened that one by one they asked for the floor, babbled on in rage
and sat down livid. That is how I felt in those many years when my
paper had denounced the abuses of the Napoleon Duarte regime with-
out anyone taking a bit of notice. I found myself in the situation of
being a newspaper persecuted by the government, with no credibility
— as the liberals had anointed the autocrat. Duarte ended up being dis-
credited when it was discovered that he had taken for himself funds
intended to aid children.
It was very difficult to make a denunciation when the very IAPA
Press Freedom Committee named representatives of newspapers from
other countries to present a report on what was happening in mine. I
protested this state of affairs when they named an executive of La
Najaf' of Costa Rica, who had never set foot in El Salvador, to speak
about us. On top of the violations and persecutions we suffered at the
hands of the Duarte regime — which withdrew all official advertising
from our paper when more than 60% of the economy was in its hands
— was the incredulity with which our denunciation was greeted.
I envy those newspapers, publishers and journalists whose battles
are against dictators on the other side of their borders. In those condi-
tions, it is very easy to wrap yourself in the flag of freedom.
I have a lot of good memories of the meetings I had the privilege
of attending and where — despite the snubs of those who cannot be
called "moderates" — I found great friendship, understanding and help.
I fondly recall "my dead friends," especially Guillermo Martinez
About this being a "moderate," I have to add a final thought: great
journalism in this region, and in the world, is done by those who es-
cape the accepted molds and wage their battles guided by their own
convictions. I believe that the worst that can happen to a country is
that its journalists be afraid of being unconventional. •
• King George VI of Britain dies at the age of 56 and Princess Eliza-
beth ascends the throne.
• In Philadelphia, for the first time an artificial heart valve is used in
• Singer and dancer Gene Kelly opens in the Hollywood musical
"Singin' in the Rain."
• President Truman signs the peace treaty with Japan formally end-
ing World War II in the Pacific.
• Eva Peron, the charismatic wife of Argentine President Juan D.
Peron, dies of cancer at the age of 33.
• King Farouk of Egypt abdicates and leaves the country from the
port of Alexandria aboard his luxury yacht.
• The young Prince Hussein is crowned in Jordan when his father's
illness prevents him from continuing to rule.
• Actor Charlie Chaplin is investigated in the United States as a Com-
• The Nobel Peace Prize is awarded to Dr. Albert Schweitzer.
• In Brazil, the government creates the Coffee Institute to increase
• World-renowned educator Maria Montessori dies aged 82.
• Joseph Stalin dies at the age of 73.
• Communist leader Josip Broz, known as Tito, is elected president
• 20th Century Fox announces the advent of Cinemascope.
• Welsh poet Dylan Thomas dies in New York aged 39.
• Soviet composer Sergei Prokofiev, who wrote "Peter and the Wolf,"
dies at the age of 61.
• Dr. Jonas Salk successfully tests his anti-polio vaccine in the U.S.
• In Egypt, the armed forces overthrow King Fuad (King Farouk's son)
and proclaims a republic.
• British scientists Francis Crick and James Watson unveil the struc-
ture of DNA at England's Cambridge University.
• Winston Churchill wins the Nobel Prize for Literature for his his-
(Basquecla, Montevideo, Uruguay)
URING THE DICTATORSHIP IN URUGUAY, back in 1975-76,
my country underwent a pretty dramatic and singular situa-
tion, as the dictatorship became one of the most totalitarian
regimes in the Southern Cone. The other dictatorships were certainly
very bloody, the Uruguayan one not so, but nevertheless it was the
most totalitarian. And at that time there was no voice raised in protest
outside the country. The U.S. State Department was barely beginning
to do so with Carter taking over the presidency, but there were not
I for my part had a stereotyped view of the IAPA, as was common
in my country and in Latin America. According to this view, the IAPA
appeared to be an organization of rightwing businessmen, that it had
to do with the CIA and all that. But I began to see that the IAPA was
really the only voice denouncing the dictatorships in Latin America
and also the only voice that was being heard — the only voice with
strength, the only voice with resonance.
Of course, after the fall of the dictatorships many others appeared,
but they had never been heard before. We had never at the time seen
so many fighters nor so many organizations that claimed to have acted.
In any event, nobody had done so like the Inter American Press Asso-
An illustrative dialogue
I'll tell you this because I get a kick out of it. Once, after the dicta-
torship, with the New York Times correspondent I interviewed Raul
Sendic, who was the top leader of the Tupamaros. After the interview,
he turned to me and said, "Danilo, Blisqueda is coming along very well."
I for my part offered the same praise for Mate Amargo, his publication.
The American correspondent was surprised and highly amused that the
publishers of two such ideologically and philosophically opposite pub-
lications could exchange plaudits.
But the interesting thing was that Sendic said to me, "Do you know
what's happening, Danilo? Those of us who have been put in jail some-
times need to know what is going on outside, and when I asked a lot
of people what happened in those years, apparently they all feel obliged
to tell them they had been fighting, they had been doing what they
could. But I didn't want that response, because under a dictatorship,
what can you do? If at the outset we who had been guerrillas were in
jail, we were imprisoned, we would have lost. And I think that the
people had to live, they had to continue going to the soccer game, hav-
ing their parties. I don't think anybody was fighting, and it was just as
well they were not, because the dictatorship prevented them from
fighting. The fight was over and we were in jail. Who else was going to
Joining the IAPA
I mention this in alluding to those people who after the downfall
of the dictatorship pretended that they had been in the fight. On the
other hand, the IAPA had indeed acted, denounced, defended, and its
action was very important. Because of that, in 1978 I decided to join
the IAPA. I did so as editor of the magazine Noticias and as publisher of
the magazines Hoy and Thisqueda, representing the three publications
in the IAPA.
So it was that I attended my first IAPA General Assembly in 1979
and in all during the dictatorship I went to 14 assemblies as the only
delegate from Uruguay, denouncing the lack of press freedom in my
country. Thanks to the IAPA, that denunciation went around the world.
The serious part about it for the Uruguayan military was that they could
hardly accuse it of being Communist.
Obviously, my denunciations created some real problems for me —
I lost jobs because certain media did not dare to fall foul of the govern-
ment and gave into its pressure.
So I lost Noticias, a column I used to write for a newspaper, a radio
program. There was a time, back in July 1981, when I had no work at
all — having held down several jobs as often we journalists must to sur-
vive — and I thought about emigrating. But that was when Basqueda,
which was a monthly magazine, became a weekly and I could go back
But what I want to stress is that the IAPA was the most resounding
voice, the most effective voice, the most forceful voice and it was a
source that the State Department used to make its reports, something
that I was able to confirm irrefutably from my own reports on Uru-
guay and the reports on other countries — because on reading the State
Department reports on human rights during the Carter administration
one could see that they were practically copies of the IAPA reports. And
that carried a lot of weight. So, as a Uruguayan, I will never forget what
the Association did for my country.
Working in the IAPA
So I believed the thing was to continue working in it, not with the
aim of holding any posts, because those who know me know I am a
very polemical person and not very diplomatic; that is, I do not try to
ingratiate myself with anybody, but to defend what I believe in — rightly
or wrongly — with such passion that I am hardly a vote-catcher. Any-
one in the IAPA will confirm this. If I did obtain a post, it was thanks
to Radl Kraiselburd of Argentina, who entrusted me with the chairman-
ship of the Press Freedom Committee. I was then confirmed in it for
four more years by his successors, David Lawrence, Luis Gabriel Cano
and Oliver Clarke, who also put their trust in me. As did Jorge Fascetto,
the current president, who raised with me the possibility of my stay-
ing on if I did not take on another post, but I was elected 2nd vice
president and therefore had to leave the committee, as one could not
hold the two posts.
While I was the committee chairman, I worked with passion and
enthusiasm; at time my efforts were questioned, but I owed everything
to the IAPA, and I say that from the bottom of my heart. Because what
the IAPA did for Uruguay, I repeat, was very important, hence my debt
But it should be known that to work in the IAPA costs a lot. Per-
haps some of the IAPA's strength comes from the fact that its leaders
pay all the costs. I say that without wanting to point out any differ-
ences or with any other hidden motive. But in any event, it has to be
said. In other free-press organizations, their leaders are in some way
employees and as such are paid salaries. They defend press freedom
with the same conviction that I do, but in addition they get paid for it.
Here, on the other hand, we pay to do it. That is the difference.
For example, I would say that in the last three or four years I have par-
ticipated in many missions, and those efforts of mine in defense of
press freedom must have cost the companies I represented $40,000 to
$60,000 a year.
Another example: today the Executive Committee is meeting; we
work from 8:00 a.m. and at midday we have a luncheon, but next week
the bill for that Executive Committee luncheon will arrive. That is not
to mention the airfare, registration fee, hotel which we know are costs
borne by my company, but in addition as a member of the Executive
Committee I pay for that luncheon. In other words, in the IAPA there
is no privilege, no sinecure. The more you work, the more you pay.
That is important, because it makes being and working in the IAPA a
vocation. And occupying a post in it, at least in my country, does not
bestow any particular social status. In my country, there are a lot more
things that do bestow greater social status than being in the IAPA, but
none of that matters. One is in the IAPA for much more elevated rea-
Wrong ideas about the IAPA
I have studied the IAPA, I live it, I know it in depth and going back
to the question of stereotyping it, I recommend reading a prologue by
Gregorio Selser, who nobody could say that during his lifetime was an
advocate of the IAPA, not by a long chalk. He was a leftist, an ideo-
logue of all the Third World movements of the 1960s. However, in that
prologue to a book about Pedro Joaquin Chamorro, Selser says the good
things the IAPA had done must be recognized, because it is true that
the IAPA did - and here comes a long list - this and that good things.
That seems to me to be a very valid example to weaken the famous
stereotype. 1 don't recall if it is there that there is mention of the fact
that during the Somoza dictatorship the IAPA saved the life of Tomas
Borge, who later became interior minister in the Sandinista govern-
ment. It was the action of the JAVA that saved his life. And it is also
true that when the Sandinistas were later in government, they became
enemy number one of the IAPA.
It happened that two years ago, or 2-1/2 years, 1 don't remember
exactly, at a meeting where 'Ibmas Borge was, he told me in public that
his newspaper, Barricada, was interested in joining the IAPA and he
went on to add that after listening to a presentation I had made, he
had to admit that the government of which he was a member had at-
tacked press freedom - a press freedom that he now understood so well
after himself being abused by the Nicaraguan government. But we
could not agree to his becoming a member, purely due to the bylaws,
which stipulated that newspapers that are official organs of political
parties may not belong to the IAPA. And that is what Barricada was,
despite which as chairman of the Press Freedom Committee I issued a
statement in support of Barricada over the persecution of it by the
Aleman government. I even went to Nicaragua, had meetings there,
issued statements and gave a press conference denouncing all those
actions. Unfortunately, Barricada later had to shut down. I say unfor-
tunately because it is always unfortunate when a newspaper ceases pub-
lication. But this is somewhat a summary of what the IAPA is all about.
The IAPA has its defects, the IAPA may have people with very conser-
vative views — bear in mind that we are talking about an organization
of 1,300 members — but it also has people with very liberal and open
What is more, there are some very clear things that people do not
know about the IAPA. For example, the deep conviction with which it
defends freedom — not freedom of businesses, though sometimes it has
had to concern itself with the newsprint issue or there have been times
when newsprint was used as a means of pressure.
Nor do 1 deny that it has had to concern itself with official adver-
tising, because, for heaven's sake, that is one of the weapons used to
attack news media. But what is really true is that the IAPA defends jour-
nalists. Fundamentally journalists. And when the IAPA puts up a fight,
works and dedicates money and time to protest against the murderers
of journalists going unpunished, it does so for the workers, as it were,
because let's face it, if the company owners in the IAPA are so wealthy,
they cannot have any problems — hence the armored cars and body-
guards. When the businessmen are defending what they defend, they
are defending the journalists. As they are when they hold training
classes, because in that case they are giving something to the profes-
sion. And that is being done all the time.
Transparent and equitable conduct
It is an undeniable fact that the IAPA conducts itself that way. There
are hundreds of anecdotes, hundreds of incidents that answer to that
in so many ways. During the Sandinista government in Nicaragua and
the Pinochet dictatorship in Chile, the IAPA through its Executive
Committee took a well known and significant decision.
The Managua daily La Prensa, which fought and was terribly ha-
rassed by the Sandinistas, received the support of the United States, of
many organizations, among them one that was known by us to be
linked to the CIA. The daily La Epoca of Chile, a newspaper opposed to
Pinochet, was harshly attacked by his government but it also received
assistance and financial support from that organization linked to the
CIA. So the IAPA's Executive Committee sent letters to both papers tell-
ing them that the IAPA was not going to interfere in their internal af-
fairs but it did not like the origin of the money they were receiving
and that to an extent limited what the IAPA could do in their defense.
That was a situation that caused the Executive Committee to he
very clear on the matter and left no doubt about what the IAPA's phi-
losophy arid policy is. An outcome was that Violeta Chamorro sent a
letter to all the members of the Executive Committee telling them how
offended she was at their decision on the matter.
To clarify things and prevent any wrong interpretation, it may be
useful also to mention the problem that arose at the meeting in 1972
or 1973 in Chile, it becoming clear that the wool had pulled over the
IAPA's eyes in having the meeting there, according to what oldtimers
told me, in what years later turned out to be part of an anti-Allende
strategy of the United States.
What happened was that prominent personalities, owners of ma-
jor newspapers in the Americas, stood up at the 1976 meeting in Santo
Domingo, Dominican Republic, and repudiated and criticized those
IAPA members that wittingly or unwittingly had caused the IAPA to
hold that meeting in Santiago, Chile, during the truck drivers' strike
The pioneering IAPA
In contrast to that painful event, at the IAPA meeting right after
the war between Peru and Ecuador, the delegations from those two
countries came to an agreement and issued a joint statement that spoke
of the need for peace and harmony, in an exemplary attitude based on
an adult view of the problem.
Responsible for that first post-war pact were reporters and editors
of Ecuadorean and Peruvian media. And just as the IAPA was a pioneer
in such a positive action on that occasion, so it was many more times,
ahead of any other organization. Just as it was the leader in denounc-
ing the lack of freedom in Cuba.
Now everybody seems to have discovered that in Cuba there is a
Marxist-Leninist regime that according to Lenin's teachings cannot al-
low freedom of the press, because under his doctrine the media must
be organs of propaganda of the Party, and everything else is foolish-
ness. Fidel Castro always prevented freedom of the press in line with
his Marxist-Leninist ideology.
What is not clear is why people have only just discovered that. The
IAPA, however, has been on about Cuba +a11 the time, from the first
moment. And because of that longstanding clamor, the IAPA was of-
ten accused of having links to the CIA., of being at the service of impe-
rialism. Today, however, the truth of what has been happening in Cuba
serves to show us how right the IAPA was.
The IAPA has also been a pioneer in the issue of the murder of jour-
nalists. In that regard, we should remember the hemisphere meeting
in Guatemala City, where later declarations by the United Nations Edu-
cational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and others is-
sued by the Organization of American States (OAS) had their begin-
nings, their genesis, their origin. Also, the creation of the office of spe-
cial rapporteur for press freedom came out of that meeting.
It was from that point on that freedom of the press has acquired
the category of a human right; it would seem that until then free
speech and press freedom had nothing to do with human rights, or at
least was not part of their makeup. All that, as anyone can see, which
goes beyond the interests of the businesses, has been and is an IAPA
role. I should add that it not only goes beyond but even at times goes
against those interests — it is well known that any newspaper company
that runs foul of the government tends to have problems, at least in
No carte blanche
Another erroneous and unfair charge is that the IAPA defends its
members come hell or high water even though it may not be war-
ranted. The IAPA has made it clear on many occasions that to be a jour-
nalist or the owner of a news medium does not bestow any carte
blanche. The IAPA has never denied that the press may commit of-
fenses, but what it has never wanted are press laws or special laws with
special offenses or special privileges. The legal codes are there and they
apply to every citizen. The offenses are not offenses of the press, they
are offenses of communication which may be committed through the
media. But it is also the case that if I stop in the street and defame
someone before third parties, just like anyone else I will be commit-
ting defamation. The IAPA has been very clear and impartial on this.
In various missions On which the IAPA has gone to defend news-
papers that had complained about the hostility of a government, after
looking into the facts it has had to issue a statement contrary to the
interests of the complainants, because it turned out that the newspa-
per concerned was playing its own game, taking advantage of the IAPA
to exert pressure and to carry on acting unethically or against the rules.
That happened to us once in Panama and in northern Mexico.
The IAPA defends its members, but only in line with what is within
the rules and the law. It seeks neither immunity nor impunity for its
members, but rather their freedom under the law.
The IAPA's position on this has always been crystal clear in oppos-
ing any kind of press freedom abuse, and it has been especially op-
posed to any kind of action that could signify a restriction or limita-
tion of the right to inform the public. Not only by legislatures, not
only by governments, not only by labor unions or public bodies but
even by the press itself.
That is why the IAPA has been against self-regulation and any other
kind of regulation established by newspaper cartels. The right to infor-
mation is a right of every citizen and may not be limited. It may not
be restricted. Neither may the media restrict it. The media should not
meet and decide, let's see what we report, what we publish and what
we don't. There must be free competition for there to be free report-
ing. Nobody has a right to limit freedom of information — neither the
labor unions nor the newspaper owners, nor the journalists.
Many journalist unions would set up a kind of control over jour-
nalists or reporting, through regulation or codes of ethics. That
amounts to a limitation on the right that citizens have to receive in-
formation. For the IAPA, a journalist is someone who exercises free-
dom of information, which consists of gathering and disseminating in-
formation on a constant basis. He is trained for that and it is his liveli-
hood. But it is not much more than that. •
ROBERT U. BROWN
(Editor & Publisher, New York)
S PRESIDENT OF THE IAPA in 1973-74 I was very proud to have
played a part in what was the beginning of the World Press Free-
dom Committee. We made the first agreement with the Inter-
national Press Institute, signed in Boston, of "One For All and All For
One" in freedom of the press. The agreement declared that "an attack
on any media of information and opinion anywhere in the world is an
attack on all media."
With that, the IAPA and the IPI formed a World Press Freedom
Committee to establish liaison between international media organiza-
tions and to act in concert on a worldwide basis. I happened to know
the head of IPI, Ernest Meyer — 1 was one of IPI's early members when
it was founded. We just thought alike and realized that the IAPA was
mostly a regional organization at that time, and the IPI was also re-
gional outside of Latin America, with very few members in this hemi-
sphere. He and I discussed the fact that attacks on freedom of the press
were not strictly local, they were international. Then the subsequent
IAPA president, George Beebe, grabbed the ball and ran with it, and
made the Freedom of Press and Information Committee what it is to-
Outside of that, I don't know of any very significant things that
happened during my presidency; I was just happy to be elected to cul-
minate almost a lifetime of devotion to this organization. 1 started as
the treasurer, then I was the chairman of the Scholarship Committee
and atter seven years I was the chairman of the Executive Committee.
I spent a lot of time in the vineyards, doing what I could to help the
organization, which was then small and struggling.
We were very fortunate to have stars in our organization, like Jack
Knight, Andrew Heiskell and others of that kind, also the leaders in
the Latin American cities. That really kept us going. Today, it's the
Young Turks who have come along and grabbed the ball and are really
running with it. I'm very happy to see that.
Telling the world and waging battles
The IAPA, although a regional organization, was instrumental in bring-
ing the issue of press freedom to the attention of the world at large.
We were first on the scene, the first to be organized — 1PI came along
later, FIEJ (now WAN) after that. American associations were not par-
ticularly interested for some time. The American Society of Newspaper
Editors sent a committee around the world as World War II was end-
ing, discussing world freedom of the press with everybody they could
talk to. Then the Soviet bloc through its actions in UNESCO tried usurp
the freedom of the press and get UNESCO to adopt propositions for a
New World Information Order, which concentrated on the responsi-
bilities of the press instead of the freedom of the press, involving all
sorts of qualifications to freedom. The IAPA supported the battle in
UNESCO against that.
The IAPA held a special meeting in San Jose, Costa Rica, across the
street from where UNESCO was meeting on that subject. I didn't make
that meeting. I was at a previous one in San Jose, when a reporter for
the weekly Me 'Tic() Times stood up and deliberately violated the na-
tional licensing law. That became a famous court case, which the IAPA
eventually won. And they're still fighting the same law in other coun-
tries around Latin America. I've been opposed to licensing of journal-
ists from the beginning. I don't think one can put any constraints on
your or my ability to write depending on what college we went to.
In the opposition to the New World Information Order, I never had
the opportunity to go to any meetings, but I kept in close touch with
the people who went, like the head of the World Press Freedom Com-
mittee, who kept me advised of what was going on over there. Eventu-
ally we won out, mainly because of the change in the secretary gen-
eral, Federico Mayor Zaragoza, who had a different view from his pre-
There's a new attempt now by, I think, mostly African nations to
revive this New World Information Order discussion. I don't think
they're going to get very far with it, but they can be a nuisance. Fortu-
nately, the American groups are well alerted to this.
New York meeting ushers in new era
It was almost 50 years ago that I was appointed treasurer of the
IAPA. We were living hand to mouth in those days, having trouble ob-
taining members, particularly in Latin America. We had a hard core
group in the U.S. We were determined to make this go. It wasn't until
the 1950 meeting at the Waldorf, where we adopted a new constitu-
tion, that the IAPA really took off. Prior to that, a small group of us
kept meeting in New York. We met at Barbetta's on 47th Street, a small
Italian restaurant with calico tablecloths, spaghetti luncheon for about
$1.25. Now it's a very fashionable restaurant, run by Mr. Barbetta's
daughter. A group of us used to meet there: Julio GarzOn, who was the
editor of La Prensa here in New York; Hal Lee, who was the editor of
Pan American Magazine and Farris Flint, who was the ringleader in re-
writing the constitution.
One member, one vote
The meeting in Havana in 1943 had been packed by journalists —
employed and otherwise — and just by being at the meeting they had a
vote. Of course, they were not members, they didn't pay dues or any-
thing. And that's what a group of us, including Lee Hills, decided we
had to change. We had to get down to one member, one vote. There
was a series of meetings after that, in Caracas and then Quito — I was at
Caracas but not Quito. It was in Quito where we got permission to have
the meeting in New York. Because of the Mantilla family, which owned
the major newspaper there, Carlos Mantilla was the chairman of the
meeting, he was the IAPA president, and he threw his weight behind
us. The U.S. delegation got permission to rewrite the constitution.
At that point, we started organizing the meeting at the Waldorf in
1950 and presented the new constitution, which provided for one
member, one vote. And that was the end of the Communist influence.
We had [at the 1950 New York meeting] the heads of newspapers from
all over the hemisphere. Editor & Publisher printed a report in three lan-
Prior to that meeting, Tom Kerney of the Trenton Times, New Jer-
sey, was our treasurer; Tom became interested early and came to New
York for these meetings. Our guru was Tom Wallace of Louisville, a
dedicated man. Then we had Bill Carney of The New York Times. Farris
Flint was most instrumental in rewriting the constitution. I gave my
support, although I wasn't at the Quito meeting — we just made up our
minds in Havana that we weren't going to let the Communists get away
with this, because they were passing resolutions in the middle of the
night attacking the U.S. They weren't representing any particular gov-
ernment, they were representing their own philosophy. We realized
that we had to do something. The same thing went on in Caracas.
Farris Flint provided Hal Lee to work full-time on the 1950 New
York meeting. Our office then was on the 17th floor of the Times Tower.
We gave him office space, a desk, telephone, secretary and he spent
full-time corresponding and promoting this meeting. He was instru-
mental in getting the cast of characters that did show up. They were
the fathers and grandfathers of the people who now go to our meet-
Tom Wallace presided. There were no controversies, to my recol-
lection. It was in the Empire Room, of the Waldorf. We had instanta-
neous translation. We elected a Board of Directors. Tom Kerney was
the first treasurer. He had been treasurer of the Organizing Committee
and was named treasurer of the hemisphere group. It wasn't until later
that I became treasurer.
My interest in this had started because of my father's interest in
the First Pan American Congress in Washington, I think in 1927. He
had a dream then and the Depression put an end to that — there was
never another one. The Mexicans revived this in May 1942, they called
it the First National and Pan American Press Congress. My father was
still alive. I tried to take it up where he'd left off.
The next Congress was the meeting in Havana in June 1943.
Fulgencio Batista sent a man named Manolo Bratia to tour the U.S. in-
viting guys like me to come to the meeting in Havana with all expenses
paid. The 10 or 11 of us who went declined that offer — we all paid our
Everyone that came to the meeting in New York in 1950 paid a fee
for it. So we had some cash to begin with. It was hand to mouth, but
we did survive. We got enough cash to carry on and we started the
Scholarship Fund and IAPA Awards, under which anyone who gave a
minimum of $2,500 was entitled to name a prize and anyone who gave
a lesser amount, that money went into a kitty until we got $2,500 and
that became an IAPA prize. Those scholarships are, of course, much
Auditing service launched
We tried to establish an auditing service for Latin American news-
papers — they didn't have anything like our ABC (Audit Bureau of Cir-
culation). We actually started the Office of Certified Circulation, which
I believe we spun off later on. I'm sure there were a lot of newspapers
in Latin America that felt they didn't need it. But we did it in anticipa-
tion of U.S. marketing tactics developing down there, and the leading
newspapers understood that. In our Editor & Publisher Yearbook, we
printed the claimed circulation of the daily newspapers in Latin
America; they were far from accurate and everybody told us that it was
impossible to get an accurate figure — we had to accept what they
I head Scholarship Fund
I served first as chairman of the Scholarship Committee, which was
incorporated at that same New York meeting, or soon thereafter, and I
became president of the Scholarship Fund. We also had a Technical
Committee, the Technical Center becoming another spin-off. I was five
years on the Scholarship Fund. We had an idea that education was im-
portant for journalists. And because of our characteristics as an inter-
national hemispheric group, we decided that Americans ought to go
to Latin America and study and learn more about it, and vice versa. So
this was started on the basis of alternating — scholarships one year
would go to Americans to study in Latin America, and the next year
would go to Latin Americans to study here in the U.S. We realized that
our scholarships were puny and hardly supported a year's living away
from home. But we worked on increasing them and Angel Ramos
upped the ante to a $3,500 scholarship, that caught on and others did
the same thing.
Chairing the Executive Committee
I no longer am chairman of the Executive Committee, but they
honored me with a plaque as honorary chairman. I was chairman for
seven years. I operated on the basis that the chairman of the Executive
Committee — and I think the bylaws sustain this point of view — should
run the organization when the president was riot available. With our
system of alternating the presidency from north to south hemispheres
— travel in those days was more difficult than it is now — the chairman
of the Executive Committee was more in command than a president
in Latin America could he. Now they can get back and forth fast, which
they do, and it's much to the advantage of the organization. But in
those days I tried to operate the organization as the interim president,
without being that, without stepping on anybody's toes, which some-
times was a little difficult.
There was an incident involving a meeting in Montevideo, which I
did not attend. I understand that Peron sent a group of his goons over
to keep tabs on the meeting. It was reported that they all had side arms
obviously visible. But that didn't deter the IAPA from holding its meet-
ing. I don't know what satisfaction Peron got out of it, but he was
throwing his weight around.
There's a story of a meeting where everyone was given a portrait of
PerOn and George Healey of the New Orleans Times Picayune had it
framed — and put it in the men's room in his house!
We had a Board meeting in Havana; it was the winter that Castro
took over, just before he moved into Havana. People were getting as-
sassinated all over the place. Our Board meeting was at a place on the
outskirts of Havana built by a man in honor of his wife. It was called
Rosita de Ornedos. They put us up there, we all had lovely suites. We
had more fire power — Batista supplied policemen on motorcycles with
mounted machine guns on the sidecars to escort us around. George
Healey had the room next to me. It was a hotel suite with a built-in
kitchen, all electric; all the electrical switches were in the inside of the
apartment in a cabinet. George and Margaret unpacked and put their
empty suitcases on top of the stove. He was fooling around with the
switches, trying to find out what lights to turn on, and didn't realize
that he turned the stove on. So we had an immediate holocaust, burned
up his luggage!
There were other, not-so-amusing events. i remember Jules Dubois
died of a heart attack at a high altitude. And a marvelous guy from
Costa Rica, Ricardo Castro Beeche, was flying to a meeting in Montego
Bay, Jamaica, when they hit turbulence and he hit the ceiling and broke
Traveling in those early days was not easy. When I went to the
meeting in Caracas in 1945, the only available transportation was a
DC-3 from Miami. We stopped at Port-au-Prince, then over the moun-
tains to Santo Domingo. When I returned to Miami from the Caracas
meeting, I was anxious to get a connecting flight to Wilmington, North
Carolina, and very foolishly started to walk out of customs to check
on my flight. The first thing I knew some guy grabbed me and said,
"Where do you think you're going?" I was in the hands of Naval Intel-
ligence — the war was still going on — and I knew right away I had made
a mistake. They took me behind the scenes and I was interrogated for
about two hours. They wanted to know what my business was and 1
said I was a writer. "What do you write about?" they asked. I tried to
explain I was in the newspaper business and said I sometimes write
about printing equipment and revolutionary new printing techniques.
That word "revolutionary" got to them immediately! Actually, I missed
my flight. I'll never do that again.
Remembering Pedro Beltran
I was fortunate to know Pedro Beltran. I don't remember anything
distinctive about the meeting in Lima, Peru, except that my wife and I
were planning to fly back to New York and Pedro came to me and said,
"The president has put his plane at our disposal, would you like to fly
over to the Amazon?" I said, "Certainly, give me two hours to change
my plane reservations!" So Susan and I got on this plane with the
Beltrans and four or five other people and we flew over to Iquitos. We
had a marvelous three days there. I'd never been in that part of the
world before. That's my most memorable recollection.
After that, they took us down to their estancia south of Lima, where
he took very good care of his employees, and we saw the beautiful
home they had in town, which was of colonial-era architecture, just
beautiful. We learned later that when the change in government took
place, they took that over, bulldozed it down and put a highway
through the middle. Peru had the first general to impose a left-wing
dictatorship in Latin America.
We go to the trouble spots
We did our best to support ABC Color in Paraguay. In the course of
our deliberations, we decided somewhere along the line that, instead
of not going to places where freedom of the press was under stress, we
would deliberately go there and meet.
Paraguay was one of the first. We went there to have a protest meet-
ing against General Stroessner and between the time we announced
the meeting and got there, Stroessner was out. So we had a celebration
instead of a demonstration.
The whole technique has changed now, with missions of inquiry
that the IAPA sends to various places. We are fortunate in having most
members who pay their own expenses on those. IAPA didn't have any
money to sustain missions of that kind. But more and more the offic-
ers and chairmen of the Freedom of the Press Committee arc traveling
around to trouble spots to lend support to the locals.
The Committee on Freedom of the Press and Information has al-
ways been strong, beginning with Jules Dubois, whom we were fortu-
nate to have in the early days. Col. [Robert] McCormick gave him carte
blanche and he roamed all over the place. There was a lot of specula-
tion that Jules was not just a newspaper correspondent in those days,
that he represented the CIA. I've asked many people and no one can
give me an answer. He was persistent, very vocal and had the ability to
be every place at one time — he just popped up everywhere. He repre-
sented IAPA very well in the freedom of the press area. He was brutal.
if he didn't like anybody, he told them. I heard him declare a very
prominent newspaper publisher's family to be Communists — which
they weren't, but their politics were not his politics. That's the way he
Pedro Joaquin Chamorro
There have been quite a few colorful people in the history of the
IAPA. Pedro Joaquin Chamorro was a firebrand. Most of us didn't know
of the long family feud between the Chamorros and the Somozas. On
one occasion, 1 remember, he was in exile and came back across the
border, was arrested and put in jail. The word that I got was that his
first statement was he was claiming freedom of the press for his own
protection. Whether there was any truth to that or not, I don't know.
But that was one of the stories.
Latin American courage
We at Editor & Publisher said frequently we admired the courage of
Latin American publishers who would come to an IAPA meeting and
tell the truth about their own government and their own lack of free-
dom, then would turn around and go home. Several times we admired
those people's courage. By bringing it to the attention of the American
publishers, I think maybe we did have some influence on that. Unfor-
tunately, we haven't had much influence on the drug traffickers, who
don't seem to observe anything.
I think the biggest threat to freedom of the press today is that
people take it for granted and misunderstand what it stands for. The
reading public today is very critical of the press, in many cases justifi-
ably. But they don't understand that the press is the messenger, not
the cause of the problems it is reporting. A lot of people believe that
the press should be selective in what it reports, that it should publish
good news and not all the had news.
The credibility of the press is part of the problem. The credibility
issue arises from people refusing to understand that the press is merely
reporting, it does not create these things, but it is accused of doing
Latin America, North America together
The IAPA is doing an excellent job in the promotion and defense
of press freedom. The Declaration of Chapultepec is going in the right
direction. The Press Institute idea is excellent — it has been developing
very well and I'm particularly happy to see the Latin Americans taking
a more and more active role in the IAPA. A lot of people had the idea
that this was an organization being run by North Americans for Latin
Americans, and supported by them. Actually, there were more dues-
paying members in Latin America than there were in the U.S. But it
was my hope — and it's coming to pass — that what we started to help
the Latin Americans, they have finally caught on and are starting to
help themselves. We went through a long period where the leading
publisher and the major newspaper in any city in Latin America was
the only member we had, and they looked on it as a private fief, they
didn't want any other members from their country.
But now we have some young guys coming along, such as Julio
Mesquita; he has done a tremendous job of increasing membership in
Brazil. And the guys in Argentina are doing the same thing. Thirty years
ago, that didn't exist. JUlio's father and Brito in Rio practically were
the only members we had in Brazil. But now we've got members all
over the place. And in Mexico, too. They're very active and very good.
Jorge Fascetto and Raul Kraiselburd are other examples.
Newspaper owners and journalists
Those who characterize the IAPA as an organization of newspaper
owners rather than representing journalists and the press at large, I
think are mistaken. If you're not in the driver's seat, you're not inclined
to try and do anything — all you do is sit back and carp. In this coun-
try, labor unions like the Guild do become involved in maintaining
integrity and freedom. But in Latin America, that's not necessarily true;
all they're concerned about is maintaining their jobs and the colegio.
If it weren't for the bosses, who made the decision to stand up to the
dictators, there wouldn't have been any opposition. It was the bosses
who took the responsibility.
I just wish there was more support in the United States for the IAPA.
We're so inclined to look east and west, and not south. That's always
been our problem. If it wasn't for a few diehards like Jim McClatchy
and Ed Seaton, who do see that importance, we would have a much
more difficult time. Seaton has done a fabulous job of attracting foun-
dation help for our various projects.
think the IAPA is going places, to the point where European orga-
nizations, like the World Association of Newspapers (formerly FTFJ), are
doing their darnedest to get members in Latin America! But the Latin
American members that belong to WAN and IPI are also members of
IAPA — I don't know of any exceptions to that.
From New York to Miami
I was reluctant to see the IAPA headquarters leave New York, but I
had to agree that Miami was the place for it, that's where it belonged,
because that's the gateway to South America. So it got my support af-
ter the initial bereavement of losing the office — it was very handy to
have it here, particularly when 1 was chairman of the Executive Com-
mittee. But I think it was a good move and it has turned out to be for
the best. •
• President Eisenhower proposes extending the vote to 18-year-olds.
• Actress Marilyn Monroe marries baseball player Joe Di Maggio.
• Frank Sinatra wins an Oscar for his role in "From Here to Eternity."
• British businessmen begin regular use of the world's first electronic
• President Eisenhower stops Senator McCarthy from investigating
the CIA in connection with alleged Communist infiltration of the
• The U.S. National Cancer Institute links cancer and smoking.
• Writer Ernest Hemingway wins the Nobel Prize for Literature.
• Painter Henri Matisse dies at the age of 84.
• In Geneva, it is agreed that Vietnam will be divided along the 17th
parallel, with the Communists to control the North.
• Singer Elvis Presley records his first single, "That's All Right, Mama."
• The government of Thailand offers bases for Western nations in
the fight against Communism in Southeast Asia.
• Scientist Albert Einstein dies at the age of 76 at his home for the
past 33 years in Princeton, New Jersey-.
• Nikita Khrushchev replaces Georgi Malenkov and takes over lead-
ership of the Soviet Union.
• Actor Marlon Brando wins an Oscar for his role in "On the Water-
• Saxophone player Charlie "The Bird" Parker, one of the creators of
bebop, dies aged 34.
• President Juan Peron is overthrown in Argentina and Gen. Eduardo
Lonardi temporarily takes over.
• Actor James Dean dies at the age of 24.
• Sixteen new members are admitted to the United Nations, but
Mongolia and Japan are refused membership.
• German writer and Nobel Literature Prize laureate Thomas Mann
dies in Switzerland.
• The World Health Organization declares nuclear waste to be a
serious health hazard.
(Los Tiempos, Cochabamba, Bolivia)
I ATTENDED AN IAPA GENERAL ASSEMBLY for the first time in
1981, when my father, Carlos Canelas — who had been going to
such meetings without interruption since 1967, in turn succeed-
ing his brother Demetrio, another keen participant in the meetings
from 1943 to 1953 — decided to ease off, for reasons of his work and to
He was at the time regional vice chairman for Bolivia of the Com-
mittee on Freedom of the Press and Information, which meant that for
several years it fell to me to present to the meetings his reports on the
state of the Bolivian press, until I was appointed to a similar role.
My debut in the IAPA
in 1981 there was a military coup d'etat in Bolivia that my father
mentioned in his report, questioning its characteristics and future — it
had been only two months since the violent seizure of power.
Perhaps expecting that the report would be a strong condemna-
tion of the coup, a Venezuelan delegate whose name I do not remem-
ber made certain immoderate comments about its content, which
caused me to think that my father had no choice but to resign from
the Committee. Without contacting him by telephone or any other
way, however, I approached one of his friends at the General Assem-
bly, Guillermo Martinez Marquez, who on learning of my concern and
the thought of resigning, smiled and told me it was not the best thing
to leave the battlefield without giving up a fight. That was my debut
in the heart of the organization.
From Los Tiempos
My family's links with the 1AI'A date back to 1943, when Los
Tiempos, the newspaper we own in Cochabamba, was founded by
Demetrio Canelas. This newspaper's history is contained in the
organization's archives, particularly from 1953 due to the attack and
destruction by the Bolivian government of the day, which results in its
being silenced until 1967, when it reappeared after renovation by my
in this connection, I should mention that at the same time as that
barbaric action against the newspaper, Demetrio Canelas was arrested
and taken to La Paz, where he was held for 4S days before being freed
and then going into exile in New York thanks to the intervention of
the IATA, which he once said had saved his life. If I remember cor-
rectly, Mr. Jules Dubois even made a special trip to Bolivia to seek his
The IAPA's role and future
Soon to "retire" myself from the organization, I feel the IAPA's role
at a time of widespread counter-values throughout the hemisphere and
a lack of other watchdogs over the running of our countries takes on
increasing importance as the safeguard of mankind's principal freedom,
which is freedom of expression.
If there is room for a view of IAPA's future, I believe that a democ-
ratization of its internal election processes will give it even more sub-
stance, while encouraging a more active and dedicated participation
of its members. •
LUIS GABRIEL CANO
(El Espectador, Bogota, Colombia)
IHAVE BEEN INVOLVED IN THE IAPA since its initial meetings, in
fact I was at the founding meeting that was held in Quito. And I
well remember my participation in a very dramatic one, in
Montevideo in 1951, to which Peron sent a group of agitators to raise
a rumpus and create problems both outside the meeting and within it.
That was my first visit to Montevideo, and I went there with my wife,
as we were recently married. So it was that we came to he at that trau-
I also remember that afterwards we went to Punta del Este, which
at that time was brand new, it had only a country club. Many of us
attending the meeting spent a few days there, because it was a very
attractive spot. But this time when I went back for the General Assem-
bly, after so many years, it had grown so much that it was nothing like
it had been.
From Montevideo I traveled on that occasion to Buenos Aires,
where I saw and got caught up in one of those pro-PerOn rallies in the
Plaza de Mayo, when, with Evita at his side, he gave one of his big
speeches, winding up with the words, "Today is St. PerOn Day and to-
morrow is St. Evita Day!" — that is, he was decreeing two days of holi-
days. The people went wild, they shouted, quite an uproar. And what
an experience to be in the main square as it was happening. But let's
get back to the IAPA.
The dictators and the IAPA
The IAPA was born in effect as a result of that epidemic of
dictactorships from which our region suffered from the mid-1940s
through the '50s. I witnessed it from the perspective of El Espectador,
the family newspaper founded by my grandfather 1887 and which I
joined as a very young man, of course, as a copy boy — what we call a
hod-carrier — but later I studied business administration and when the
time came I began to be involved in the administrative aspects of the
newspaper, heading the financial area.
But from any angle, I was always very interested in the IAPA, espe-
cially its fight against the epidemic of dictatorships. It had not yet hit
us directly — Rojas Pinilla would appear only later, in 1953. But there