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South American journalists hold tri-national training event on the “Triple Frontier"


Journalists from Paraguay, Argentina and Brazil gathered in the border cities of the three countries Nov. 26-28, 2010, to attend the First International Journalists Meeting on the Triple Frontier. The Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas was a co-sponsor of the gathering.

The event was organized by the Paraguayan Journalists Forum (Fopep), the Argentine Journalist Forum (FOPEA), and the Brazilian Association for Investigative Journalism (Abraji) — which were all founded with the Knight Center’s assistance — and the Media Workers and Communicators Forum of Misiones, Argentina (Fopremi), founded in 2009.

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The meeting took place in Ciudad del Este, Paraguay, with field trips and training activities also held in Foz do Iguaçu, Brazil, and Puerto Iguazú, Argentina.

The tri-national workshop was designed to improve the level of journalism and to serve as a protective measure for colleagues on all three sides of the Triple Frontier Region, which is home to some 700,000 people and a dynamic news agenda, including several types of organized crime.

Topics included drug trafficking, human trafficking, contraband, native peoples, tourism, culture, and the environment. Journalists, academics, and federal authorities from the three countries presented a series of round-table discussions and training workshops.

The opening address Nov. 26 was given by Chilean journalist Mónica González, director of Chile’s Center for Investigative Journalism (Ciper) and winner of the 2010 UNESCO/Guillermo Cano World Press Freedom Prize.

It was followed by a round-table discussion, “Regular topics on the journalistic news agenda of the Triple Frontier.” Andrés Morales, director of Colombia’s Foundation for Press Freedom (FLIP) conducted a workshop, “How to adopt measures of protection and security in dangerous assignments.”

Other Day 1 sessions included “Journalism and the justice system’s against organized crime,” and “A guide to sources for covering the Triple Frontier: how to investigate smuggling, financial crimes, customs control, and international litigation.”

On Saturday, Nov. 27, participants traveled to Puerto Iguazú, Argentina, to visit the Yryapú reserve of the Mbya Guaraní indigenous group and to discuss the circumstances of native peoples in the region. In the afternoon they crossed into Foz de Iguaçu, Brazil, for the discussion “Myths and truths about the alleged financing of Islamic terrorism from the Triple Frontier,” at the Dynamic University of the Waterfalls (Universidad Dinámica das Cataratas).

Training workshops held Sunday, Nov. 28, were “Journalistic coverage of contraband and narcotrafficking,” and “Political and economic interests in the coverage of themes affecting migrant communities and different cultures.”

The event concluded with the presentation of the “Declaration of Journalists of the Triple Frontier.” Journalists will discuss their recommendations for actions to be taken as a result of the event.

For more information see this site, and this interview with FOPEA’s Gabriel Michi, conducted by the Knight Center’s Summer Harlow at the Eighth Austin Forum on Journalism in the Americas.




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