19 March 2008

IAPA outraged at murder in Argentina


IAPA outraged at murder in Argentina

Violence unleashed against journalists and news media to be major topic at upcoming meeting in Caracas


Miami (March 19, 2008).- The Inter American Press Association (IAPA) expressed outrage at the murder of Argentine journalist Juan Carlos Zambrano earlier today in Jujuy city and called upon local authorities to conduct an immediate investigation to identify the perpetrators, uncover their motives and bring them to justice.


Zambrano, a 46-year-old radio and television reporter, worked at LW8 radio station and Canal 7 television in Jujuy, the capital of the province of the same name located in the far northwest of Argentina. He was intercepted at 2:00 a.m. by two assailants who shot him point-blank outside his home as he arrived with his fiancée.


Police arrested one of the assailants but the motive for the murder was not immediately known. Zambrano’s lawyer said his client had received threats after publishing certain allegations but there is also a theory that he was killed for reasons other than his work as a journalist.


The chairman of the IAPA’s Committee on Freedom of the Press and Information, Gonzalo Marroquín, stressed the urgent need to carry out a prompt investigation “to identify both the instigators and the perpetrators of this crime.”


The IAPA will examine in detail the issue of violence against journalists at its Mid Year Meeting in Caracas, Venezuela, later this month. Zambrano is the latest journalist to be murdered in recent months. Carlos Salgado was killed in Honduras and Gerardo Pimentel in Mexico. Two other Mexican journalists, Mauricio Estrada Zamora and Juan Pablo Solís, have disappeared in the same period and their whereabouts remain unknown.


During the Caracas meeting, scheduled for March 28-30 and in which more than 300 newspaper editors and publishers will participate, the IAPA plans to issue new documentation on the levels of impunity surrounding crimes against journalists, which in the last 30 years have amounted to 330 murders of men and women journalists in the Americas killed while doing their job reporting the news.