Miami (September 9, 2011—The Inter American Press Association (IAPA) today expressed outrage at the murder in Peru of journalist Pedro Alonso Flores Silva and urged officials there to carry out an immediate, exhaustive and transparent investigation.
Flores Silva, 36, host of the program “Visión agraria” (Agrarian Outlook) broadcast by Canal 6 television in Casma in the northwestern province of Ancash, died yesterday (September 8) after being attacked. Around midnight on Tuesday he was going home on his motorcycle when he was intercepted by a hooded man, also riding a motorcycle, who shot him in the stomach.
IAPA President Gonzalo Marroquín, president of the Guatemala City, Guatemala, newspaper Siglo 21, offered his condolences and sympathy to Flores Silva’s family and colleagues and called on the relevant authorities in Peru to “act swiftly, in-depth and responsibly to determine the motives and bring those responsible for this crime to justice.”
Referring to such a demand made by the Peruvian Press Council (CPP) the chairman of the IAPA’s Committee on Freedom of the Press and Information, Robert Rivard, editor of the San Antonio Express-News, Texas, endorsed that organization’s reference to the Declaration of Pucallpa, a document ratified by both the IAPA and the CPP, among other organizations, on September 20, 2005.
The Declaration calls for the creation of a multimedia group to continue the denunciations in the press made by a murdered reporter, urges the government to amend the law so that crimes against journalists not be subject to any statute of limitations, that battle be waged against impunity, and that the news media take joint action to wage public awareness campaigns and train journalists.
Flores Silva’s widow, Mercedes Cueva Abanto, told local media that for the past three months he had been receiving threats following his exposure of corruption in the Comandante Noel municipal government. That city’s mayor had filed a libel suit against him.
He was the second Peruvian journalist to be murdered this year. On May 3 Julio Castillo Narváez, host of the newscast aired by Radio Ollantay, was killed as he was having lunch at a restaurant in Virú, in northwestern Peru. Four unidentified men entered the place and shot him. One of the alleged murderers was arrested in May. The investigations into the crime are still under way.
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. The IAPA Impunity Project is funded by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and has the mission of combating violence against journalists and lessening the impunity surrounding the majority of such crimes. For more information please go to http://www.sipiapa.org; http://www.impunidad.com