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Holness condemns killing of Ecuadorian journalists

Monday, April 16, 2018

Prime Minister Andrew Holness has expressed outrage at the killing of three journalists in Ecuador who were kidnapped along the Colombia/Ecuador border.

Speaking at the Summit of the Americas on Saturday, Holness joined leaders in the hemisphere in condemning the killing, which was confirmed Friday.

He said the targeted killing of journalists is a threat to democracy and efforts to fight corruption.

“Democracy, as a system of government, has been instrumental in the maintenance of the rule of law in the hemisphere...freedom of the press is a fundamental pillar of democracy; therefore, in the context of our meeting here today, I express Jamaica's solidarity and sympathies to the media community, people, and Government of Ecuador on the tragic murder of three Ecuadorian journalists recently,” Holness said.

The prime minister, who was making his statement at the full meeting of 33 hemispheric heads of government, noted that Jamaica has made improvements to its mechanisms to stamp out corruption through the Access to Information Act and the recently passed Integrity Commission Act, among others.

“I am pleased to report substantial progress in Jamaica's fight against corruption, as highlighted in the findings of the 2017 Corruption Perception Index of Transparency International. The 2017 ranking represented the best ranking and score achieved by us in the last decade, and signifies that Jamaica is now comparable to that of the Americas in this regard. The improvement is as a result of a committed series of strategic actions by our government to reduce corruption and put Jamaica on a path of true development and prosperity,” added Prime Minister Holness.

The Prime Minister noted that Jamaica has also supported the establishment and implementation of regional anti-corruption conventions and mechanisms, which have been beneficial.