More than 100 journalists discuss the role of the media and insecurity

28 Oct 2010

Panama—More than 100 journalists and other communications professionals met in Panama, together with experts and policymakers, in order to analyze how the media addresses criminal behavior in the region, as well as the perception of violence and public policies with regard to the causes, prevention and punishment of crime.

Participating in the event were journalists, experts and leaders in the field from Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama and the Dominican Republic.

The decision-makers and experts present reflected on the challenges they faced and highlighted the need to mainstream a comprehensive approach when addressing insecurity, with responsible behavior by the media.

At the same time, the journalists debated the media coverage of a number of instances of insecurity, such as organized crime and drugs cartels, crimes against property, homicide, gender violence and violence and domestic abuse, racketeering, gangs and youth violence.

The regional seminar was organized by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the System for Central American Integration (SICA), with the support of the Spanish Agency for International Cooperation for Development (AECID), through the UNDP Spain Fund, and with assistance from the EFE news agency.

The opening of the seminar was the responsibility of Kim Bolduc,the Resident Coordinator of the United Nations System in Panama and Resident Representative of the UNDP, Juan Daniel Alemán Gurdián, Secretary General of SICA, María Victoria Wulff, Head of the Department of Cooperation with Central America, Mexico and the Caribbean at AECID, and Freddy Justiniano, Coordinator for the UNDP Central Region for Latin America and the Caribbean.

Alemán Gurdián (SICA) warned of the threat which the lack of security poses to democratic stability and regional integration. Bernardo Kliksberg, Senior Advisor to the UNDP Bureau for Latin America and the Caribbean emphasized the contribution that the media can make in improving the quality of the debate and the search for innovative solutions.
The following individuals also participated in this meeting: Manuel Melgar, Minister for Justice and Public Safety of El Salvador; Verioska Mella, Vice-Minister of the Interior and the Police of the Dominican Republic, and José Roberto Romero Luna, Vice-Minister of Public Safety of Honduras.

The seminar took place within the framework of the “Fair: Central American Commitment” in the course of which many innovative experiments in the field of security issues were reviewed.

Contact Information

Pablo Basz (en Panamá): Pablo.basz@undp.org; Cel : + (507) 305-4864
Joaquín Mirkin (en Nueva York) Joaquin.mirkin@undp.org ; Cel : + 1 646 331 8544