Information is not a commodity

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“Not only the IAPA, but shock troops such as Reporters Without Borders, are responding to Washington’s dictates of disinformation and global defamation. In this context, the European Union is fulfilling a shameful role which contradicts the heroic struggle of its people against Nazi fascism.”

Caracas Declaration, March 30, 2008

Latin American Meeting Against Media Terrorism

Journalists, communicators and scholars of communication in Latin America, the Caribbean and Canada, meeting in Caracas in this First Latin American Meeting Against Media Terrorism, denounce the use of disinformation by international news agencies, as a huge and permanent aggression against people and governments fighting for peace, justice, and social inclusion.

Media Terrorism is the first expression and condition necessary for the industrial North’s exercise of military and economic terrorism in order to impose imperial hegemony and neo-colonial dominion on humanity. As such, it is an enemy of freedom, democracy and open society and ought to be considered a plague of contemporary culture.

At the regional level, Media Terrorism has been used as a political weapon in the overthrow of democratic governments such as those in Guatemala, Argentina, Chile, Brazil, Panama, Grenada, Haiti, Peru, Bolivia, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Uruguay and Venezuela and continues being used today to sabotage any humanitarian accord or political solution to the Colombian conflict, and to spread war throughout the Andes.

The present democratic struggle in Ecuador, Bolivia and Nicaragua, together with that of Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay and Mexico, confirms our societies’ political will to thwart the aggressive and simultaneous defamation campaign by international news agencies and the Inter American Press Association (IAPA). Cuba and Venezuela clearly represent the most vigorous milestones in this yet to be concluded battle. On the other hand, we must redouble our efforts against the dramatic situation that currently confronts democratic journalism in Peru, Colombia and other countries.

This Latin American Meeting demonstrates that it is necessary to create an international platform against Media Terrorism, and we call for another meeting to take place no later than two months from now, so that action can be taken in conjunction with other organizations such as the Latin American Journalists Federation (FELAP), which within the context of a growth in consciousness by the Latin American and Caribbean people, has been an exemplary defender of the right to truth and the currency which sustains its principles: Free journalism in Free countries.

Having begun to criminalize all forms of struggle and popular resistance under the pretext of a false sense of security, the fundamentalist administration of George W. Bush has been responsible for a systematic terrorist aggression in recent years against alternative, popular, community media and even certain businesses.

Information is not a commodity. Like health and education, information is a fundamental right of the people and should be part of permanent public policy.

Convinced that this story began 200 years ago, we reaffirm the commitments made by those who preceded us, with the aim of directing ourselves toward the ethical exercise of our profession, holding fast to the values of true and effective democracy, and to the truth which a diversity of thought, belief and culture deserves.

Not only the IAPA, but shock troops such as Reporters Without Borders, are responding to Washington’s dictates of disinformation and global defamation. In this context, the European Union is fulfilling a shameful role which contradicts the heroic struggle of its people against Nazi fascism.

In forging the unity of the Latin American and Caribbean people, the signers of this Declaration call on the professors and students of social communication to consider Media Terrorism as one of humanity’s most pressing problems, and we call on independent journalists to commit themselves to redoubling their efforts in pursuit of peace, integrated development and social justice.

In this spirit, we call on the heads of state for Latin America and the Caribbean to include the subject of Media Terrorism in all their meetings and international forums.

Caracas, March 30, 2008

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