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19 The Story of the lAPA

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A collection of testimonies written by former IAPA authorities

Published in: News & Politics
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19 The Story of the lAPA

  1. 1. THE STORY OF THE IAPA: A COLLECTION OF TESTIMONIES
  2. 2. Albino G6mez The Story of the IAPA: A Collection of Testimonies Published by the Inter American Press Association 2911 NW 39th St., Miami, FL 33142 Telephone: (305) 634-2465 Fax: (305) 635-2272 • Telex: 522873 e-mail: info@sipiapa.org Website: http://www.sipiapa.org Translations by Michael Hayes Cover photos (clockwise from top left): Former Presidents Gustavo Rojas Pinilla (Colombia), Alfredo Stroessner (Paraguay), Marcos Perez Jimenez (Venezuela), Juan Domingo PerOn (Argentina), Rafael Trujillo (Dominican Republic), Fidel Castro (Cuba), Anastasio Somoza (Nicaragua), Augusto l'inochet (Chile) © Al Reuters, La Nacion © 1999 Inter American Press Association All Rights Reserved.
  3. 3. CONTENTS Foreword Preface: What is the IAPA? iii Testimonies and World Chronology 1950-1951 1 Horatio Aguirre 2 Enrique Altamirano 13 1952-1953 17 Danilo Arbilla 18 Robert U. Brown 26 1954-1955 37 Alfonso Canelas 38 Luis Gabriel Cano 40 1956-1957 45 Jaime Chamorro 46 Violeta Chamorro 51 1958-1959 53 Oliver F. Clarke 54 Juan Luis Correa 60 1960-1961 63 Robert J. Cox 64 Hector Davalos 67 1962-1963 73 Jorge Fascetto 74 lack Fuller 81 1964-1965 85 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 Appendices 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
  4. 4. FOREWORD W 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. JORGE FASCETTO President
  5. 5. 11
  6. 6. PREFACE 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 the Americas. 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. iii
  7. 7. 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 special interest. 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- cational activities. 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- iv
  8. 8. 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 publications. 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
  9. 9. following March. Application forms and information about qualifying may he obtained by writing the IAPA Scholarship Fund at the IAPA headquarters in Miami, Florida. Awards 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. Publications 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- tion topics. 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. vi
  10. 10. World Chronology 1950 • 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 aged 80. • American swimmer Florence Chadwick smashes the women's world record for crossing the English Channel with a time of 13 hours 23 minutes. 1951 • 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 38th parallel. • 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 Prix. • 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 younger generation. 1
  11. 11. HORACIO AGUIRRE (Diario Las Americas, Miami, Florida) M 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 bid failed. 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 2
  12. 12. 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. Licensing 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 Rights. 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- 3
  13. 13. 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 4
  14. 14. 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. UNESCO 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- ing. 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- 5
  15. 15. 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 6
  16. 16. 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 anti-freedom issues. 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 7
  17. 17. 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 8
  18. 18. 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- dent. 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 of another. 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 9
  19. 19. 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 10
  20. 20. 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. 11
  21. 21. 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. Tailpiece 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. • 12
  22. 22. ENRIQUE ALTAMIRANO (El Diario de Hoy, San Salvador, El Salvador) I 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- cians. The seminars 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- 13
  23. 23. 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- 14
  24. 24. 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, 15
  25. 25. 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 Marquez. 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. • 16
  26. 26. World Chronology 1952 • 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 an operation. • 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- munist sympathizer. • The Nobel Peace Prize is awarded to Dr. Albert Schweitzer. • In Brazil, the government creates the Coffee Institute to increase coffee exports. • World-renowned educator Maria Montessori dies aged 82. 1953 • Joseph Stalin dies at the age of 73. • Communist leader Josip Broz, known as Tito, is elected president of Yugoslavia. • 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- torical works. 17
  27. 27. DANILO ARBILLA (Basquecla, Montevideo, Uruguay) D 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 many voices. 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- ciation. 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 18
  28. 28. 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 fight?" 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 to work. 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 19
  29. 29. 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 to it. 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 20
  30. 30. 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- sons. 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 21
  31. 31. 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 minds. 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 22
  32. 32. 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 there. 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. 23
  33. 33. 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 Latin America. 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 24
  34. 34. 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. • 25
  35. 35. ROBERT U. BROWN (Editor & Publisher, New York) A 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- day. 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. 26
  36. 36. 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- decessor M'Bow. 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 27
  37. 37. 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- guages. 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. 28
  38. 38. 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- ings. 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. Family interest 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 own expenses. 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 higher now. 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 29
  39. 39. 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 told us. 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 30
  40. 40. 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! Two deaths 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 his neck. Difficult travel 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 31
  41. 41. 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- 32
  42. 42. ers and chairmen of the Freedom of the Press Committee arc traveling around to trouble spots to lend support to the locals. Jules Dubois 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 operated. 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- 33
  43. 43. 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 that. 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; 34
  44. 44. 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. • 35
  45. 45. World Chronology 1954 • 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 computer. • President Eisenhower stops Senator McCarthy from investigating the CIA in connection with alleged Communist infiltration of the agency. • 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. 1955 • 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- front." • 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. 37
  46. 46. ALFONSO CANELAS (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 rest. 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 father. in this connection, I should mention that at the same time as that 38
  47. 47. 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 release. 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. • 39
  48. 48. 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- matic meeting. 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 40

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