EL PASO, Texas (December 6, 2010)—The Inter American Press Association (IAPA) today called on officials in Ecuador to investigate and identify the people responsible for the kidnapping last week of a sports reporter from the Guayaquil newspaper El Universo. The reporter was investigating an alleged identity theft involving a soccer player.
Guido Manolo Campaña was abducted by unidentified persons on December 2. The incident occurred after he began investigating allegations of identity theft involving a Quito League player, El Universo reported. Campaña, freed after being held captive for seven hours, was removed from a bus and while held was beaten, threatened and interrogated about who had ordered the investigation and what he had learned, the newspaper said.
The chairman of the IAPA’s Committee on Freedom of the Press and Information, Robert Rivard, said he is certain that “the authorities will investigate what is behind this abduction and bring the instigators to justice.”
The kidnappers destroyed Campaña’s camera, tape recorder, cell phone and personal documents and warned him that they would attack his family if he published his investigation into the case of football player Gonzalo Chila, who allegedly stole that name from someone else.
Rivard, editor of the San Antonio Express-News, Texas, added, “Violent actions aimed at intimidating journalists damage the work of the press and the public’s right to information, so it is urgent to put a halt to them before they become a pattern.”
The IAPA is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to the defense and promotion of freedom of the press and of expression in the Americas. It is made up of more than 1,300 print publications from throughout the Western Hemisphere and is based in Miami, Florida. For more information please go to http://www.sipiapa.org.