Manifest of the National Association of Journalists of Peru in the current political and social context

The National Association of Journalists of Peru, the parent union of national journalism that represents more than 12,000 press workers organized in 115 provincial associations, addresses the powers of the State, the national public opinion and the international community to manifest the following:

1. The role of journalism is to make information a right of the people, so it must be at the service of the truth and not become an instrument of power groups. For this reason, we recognize the coverage work carried out by journalists on the streets of the national, local, independent and foreign press.

Despite this, we distance ourselves from the informative treatment given, for the most part, by the national press media -particularly the so-called concentrated press- from the legitimate citizen protests expressed in different cities of the national territory. The demonstrators are not vandals and even less terrorists, we reject these expressions towards our compatriots.

2. We condemn all violations of human rights, and within this framework we denounce the crimes committed by the armed and police forces. We demand that a humane treatment be given to the current crisis at all levels of government, leaving particular interests aside and putting the well-being of the Peruvian people first; in the same way, we demand the withdrawal of the armed forces, whose training is not competent to deal with civil conflicts.

3. As a union that is a member of civil society, we recognize the citizen’s right to legitimate protest, guaranteed and protected by the Constitution and the inter-American and universal systems of Human Rights. It is a democratic vehicle for society to express itself before its authorities and generate the necessary changes for the progress of the people. Within this framework, we call on citizens who exercise their legitimate right to protest to identify and separate people who are violating individual rights, attacking public and private infrastructure, with acts that try to distort legitimate slogans.

4. We demand that the media companies take charge of the protection of the men and women of the press who cover the protests. As employer entities, they have the legal obligation to provide them with the appropriate tools to safeguard their integrity.

Likewise, we remind the forces of order that, within the framework of their powers, is the protection of men and women of the press who carry out journalistic coverage functions. For this reason, they have the obligation to protect the physical integrity of our colleagues and the right to freedom of the press, within the framework of their constitutional obligations and commitments assumed with the inter-American system of Human Rights.

5. We value the special importance of the work carried out by independent, local and foreign press media in covering the conflict. Their work allows a comprehensive reading of the events that happen on a daily basis. For this reason, we condemn any form of stigmatization or aggression. Our colleagues who cover the protests locally, among them correspondents of the national media, are citizens exercising their right to work, they are not responsible for the treatment that is provided to the information in the means of communication for which they work.

6. From the ANP we maintain the permanent exhortation that the media in general work within the framework of ethics, adhering to the basic principles of journalism. Likewise, we call on journalists to organize themselves within the media in order to collectively demarcate informative treatments that distort the truth and harm the right to information of citizens.

7. We demand that the Ministry of the Interior and the Ministry of Defense assume political responsibility for those injured and killed during the protest. These crimes cannot go unpunished, which is why we demand that all those responsible be identified so that they receive an exemplary punishment.

8. We express our solidarity with the injured and, especially, with the almost 40 families of those killed during the protests. We share your pain and we join your demand for real, timely justice and with adequate reparation policies that condemn those responsible for these murders. Lives cannot be recovered and the only hope is to find justice.

The National Association of Journalists of Peru expresses these ideas in communion with the feelings of its leaders and national bases, who subscribe to this manifesto.

Source:–2022112812560 (original Spanish)