ACM CALLS FOR ACTION ON BADIO KILLING
January 30, 2007 - The Association of Caribbean MediaWorkers (ACM) is calling on Haitian authorities to move swiftly to bring the killers of Jean-Rémy Badio to justice and wants the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) to do more to end the isolation of this Member State.
Mr Badio was a freelance journalist and photographer and member of SOS Journalistes with which the ACM has communicated in the recent past. He was shot to death at his home on January 19.
It is especially distressing to note that that Mr Badio's murder results from his work in reporting on the operations of organised gangs in the Port-au-Prince suburb of Martissant.
This killing suggests that changes in political administration in Haiti have not served to reverse a tendency by criminal elements with political agendas to target journalists and media workers.
Firm and decisive action against such acts was recommended by the ACM following our mission to Haiti in 2002 while the murder of Jean Dominique in 2000 was still being investigated without success.
We are concerned that this specific feature of the Haitian landscape has not been suitably addressed by the country's CARICOM allies, despite representations made on the issue by the ACM.
For example, as far back as January 24, 2002 we informed CARICOM Secretary-General, Edwin Carrington, in writing, that "our Haitian colleagues have stressed the urgency of getting their information out to the rest of the region because there is a belief that the international media have neither paid sufficient attention to nor displayed a high level of sensitivity to their plight."
We have also used other fora to express concern that while Haiti is being used in the public relations of the CARICOM Secretariat as a valuable member of the Community, it continues to be treated as a population of "outsiders" by CARICOM Member States.
This continued isolation even within the CARICOM system can only embolden elements bent on acting with impunity against journalists and media organisations.
In this regard, we call on CARICOM to take measures to bring some relief to this situation.
* We acknowledge the assistance of Michael Deibert in the shaping of this response from the ACM.
Association of Caribbean Media Workers
Trinidad, WEST INDIES
Dale Enoch, President: (868) 628-4955
Peter Richards, First Vice-President
Bert Wilkinson, Second Vice-President
Wesley Gibbings, General Secretary
Nita Ramcharan, Asst. General Secretary