16 June 2008

IAPA deplores murder of Venezuelan


newsman, calls for prompt investigation


Miami (June 16, 2008)—The Inter American Press Association (IAPA) today condemned the murder in Venezuela of journalist Javier García and urged the country’s authorities to carry out a prompt investigation to determine the motives for the crime and bring those responsible to justice.


García, host of the nightly news show aired by RCTV Internacional, was found dead by his brother in his apartment in Caracas on Sunday (June 15). His family had not heard from him since Friday and his colleagues became concerned when he failed to turn up for the taping of a television program.


The body of the 37-year-old newsman showed he had been stabbed three times in the chest and twice in the right leg. According to investigating police officers the crime the weapon used on García was found in the main bathroom of his apartment.


The chairman of the IAPA’s Committee on Freedom of the Press and Information, Gonzalo Marroquín, expressed sympathy to the journalist’s family and colleagues and called on the relevant authorities in Venezuela to “investigate promptly and identify who was responsible.”


Meanwhile, RCTV Internacional issued a press release saying, “Up to now the circumstances surrounding this regrettable and violent incident are unknown.” It went on to deplore “the premature and painful disappearance of a much-liked colleague and friend, a highly respected reporter and an excellent Venezuelan social communicator.”


On June 2 Pierre Fould Gerges, vice president of the financial daily  Reporte Diario de la Economía, was also murdered in Caracas under circumstances that are still being investigated.