November 21, 2017

Adolfo Pérez Esquivel talks to the Herald

Friday, April 4, 2014

‘Media hold a responsibility’

By Luciana Bertoia
Herald Staff
Nobel Peace Prize winner Adolfo Pérez Esquivel yesterday spoke up against the episodes of lynching that have been taking part in different parts of the country. Pérez Esquivel, a well-known non-violent activist, became the latest human rights activist to speak up against the episodes of mob violence.
The leader of the Service for Peace and Justice (SERPAJ) spoke to the Herald after a press conference about the request to extradite officials from Spain’s Francisco Franco era. “I am here because this is part of a struggle against impunity. Now thanks to the Argentine judiciary, there is a chance of obtaining some justice,” he said.
What can be said about these repeated episodes of lynchings?
They are a collective action. Conscience is suspended in order to perpetrate these criminal acts, which have to be revised in court like any other crime. A fair and impartial trial must be granted to both the victim and the perpetrator.

What do you mean by suspending conscience?
Conscience was also suspended during the last dictatorship. That’s what the Armed Forces and the Security forces had to do in order to be able to commit their crimes.
How would you define the media coverage?
The media also hold a responsibility in this case. Media outlets usually create uncertainty and that is something that should not happen.
Over the last weeks, some in the media have joined opposition politicians in claiming that there are efforts to favour criminals as part of an opposition to the Penal Code reform drafted by Supreme Court Justice Eugenio Raúl Zaffaroni. What do you think?
The Penal Code reform has to be discussed. It was drafted by responsible experts. I don’t mean that the Code has to be passed without any amendments. But I do not agree with (Renewal Front leader Sergio) Massa who argues that the reform does not have to be debated because it decreases some penalties.

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