About the International Day to End Impunity
“In 2013, the UN General Assembly passed Resolution A/RES/68/163, which tasked UNESCO as the overall coordinator for the implementation of the UN Plan of Action. The Resolution also urged UN bodies to nominate focal points for the UN Plan, and designated 2 November as the International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists. It further called on the UN Secretary-General to report on implementation of the Resolution at the 69th Session of the UN General Assembly.”
Prior to the UN resolution, journalists and press freedom and freedom of expression advocates around the world, led by the Canada-based organization International Freedom of Expression Exchange (IFEX), had been commemorating the International Day to End Impunity on November 23 since 2011. That date coincided with the commemoration of the 2009 Ampatuan, Maguindanao Massacre in which 58 persons including 32 journalists and media workers were killed in the Philippines.
Know more about the International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists.
About the Ampatuan Massacre
On November 23, 2009, Genalin Mangudadatu, her sisters-in-law, and their relatives departed for the municipality of Shariff Aguak to file the Certificate of Candidacy (COC) of her husband Esmael “Toto” Mangudadatu. Mangudadatu was running against Andal “Unsay” Ampatuan Jr. for provincial governor in the 2010 elections.
The Mangudadatu women were accompanied by supporters and lawyers.
Journalists and media workers joined them. Mangudadatu’s filing of his COC was news. The Ampatuan Clan has ruled over the Maguindanao province in much of the decade, and its members ran unopposed in past elections in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao. Mangudadatu, a former Ampatuan ally, invited the media to cover the filing of his COC in a press conference after the Kalimudan festival in Sultan Kudarat.
The Mangudadatu and media convoy never reached its destination. A few kilometers from Shariff Aguak, armed men allegedly led by Unsay Ampatuan stopped the convoy at a police checkpoint in Barangay Salman. The Group, including the journalists and media workers, was brought to a hilltop where all were shot dead. The perpetrators planned to hide the bodies and cars of the victims in pits dug by a backhoe owned by the Maguindanao government.
Two other vehicles carrying six people who were not part of the Mangudadatu convoy were intercepted at the checkpoint.