20 October 2009
IAPA calls for action on journalists murders in Ecuador
The murders of journalists Julio Augusto García, José Luis León, Raúl Suárez Sandoval and Raúl Rodríguez, Coronel committed in Ecuador between 2005 and this year, were raised in discussions that the Inter American Press Association (IAPA) held with representatives of the government of the South American country last week.
The murders of journalists Julio Augusto García, José Luis León, Raúl Suárez Sandoval and Raúl Rodríguez, Coronel committed in Ecuador between 2005 and this year, were raised in discussions that the Inter American Press Association (IAPA) held with representatives of the government of the South American country last week. The hemisphere organization called for the solving of the four crimes, investigations into which have been dragging on slowly if at all, without the motives being determined or the guilty identified. During a joint press conference held in the Carondelet Palace presidential offices by IAPA international delegates who traveled to the Ecuadoran capital, Quito, October 15-16, and government officials IAPA 2nd Vice President Gonzalo Marroquín handed to Communication Secretary General Fernando Alvarado a note to be delivered to President Rafael Correa asking that action be taken to coordinate the inquiries and finally solve those murders. The intent was to revitalize the proceedings so as to bring those responsible for the crimes to justice. In the letter to Correa the following cases were mentioned: Julio Augusto García: A Chilean photographer, correspondent in Ecuador of the Chilean news agency La Bocina and a reporter for the weekly Punto de Vista, the victim of a tear-gas bomb hurled on April 19, 2005 during protest demonstrations against the then government. The case was shelved. José Luis León: Host of an opinion program broadcast by Radio Minutera of Guayaquil, murdered on February 13, 2006. His family, who have received threats, claim that the murder was in reprisal for his exposures of gangsters and criminals. To date there has been no official inquiry into the incident. Raúl Suárez Sandoval: A freelance photographer and stringer for Guayaquil newspapers, murdered on February 14, 2006. The case remains unsolved. His family maintains that it was a case of mistaken identity. No official action has been taken to identify possible suspects. Raúl Rodríguez Coronel: News editor of Radio Sucre in Guayaquil, murdered on June 23, 2008. Two persons were convicted on charges of having carried out the murder, and officials believe he was the victim of a common crime, but his family disagree and have lodged an appeal.