Thu | Apr 26, 2018

Jamaica condemns killing of journalists in Ecuador - Holness

Published:Monday | April 16, 2018 | 12:00 AM
Accompanied by Foreign Affairs Minister Kamina Johnson Smith (right), Jamaica’s Prime Minister Andrew Holness waves upon their arrival to Lima, Peru, last Thursday. Holness was in Lima to attend the Summit of the Americas.

Prime Minister Andrew Holness has expressed solidarity in condemning the killing of three journalists in Ecuador.

Speaking at the Summit of the Americas on Saturday, Holness joined leaders in the hemisphere in expressing outrage at the killing. On Friday, it was confirmed that three journalists who were kidnapped along the Colombia-Ecuador border were killed by their captors.

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

"Democracy, as a system of government, has been instru-mental 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," said Holness.

He noted that press freedom was essential to good democratic governance.

 

FIGHT AGAINST CORRUPTION

 

The prime minister, who was making his statement at the full meeting of 33 Heads of Government of hemispheric leaders, 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's [ranking] 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 Holness.

The prime minister noted that Jamaica has also supported the establishment and implemen-tation of regional anti-corruption conventions and mechanisms, which have been beneficial.