24 July 2007

Mario Prada Díaz

Miami, Florida, July 24, 2007 Mr. Alvaro Uribe Vélez President of Colombia Palacio de Nariño Bogotá, Colombia Mr. President, The Inter American Press Association (IAPA) has investigated the murder of journalists in the Americas and come to the conclusion in the majority of cases that there are delays in doing justice due to negligence, apathy and irregularities. In many of these instances police inquiries and legal proceedings have inexplicably stalled and have in fact become obstacles to the action aimed at identifying those responsible for the crimes. The IAPA is determined to see an end put to this impunity, a task in which it has wide backing in the international community that is signing this letter. For all these reasons we respectfully draw your attention to the fate of journalist Mario Prada Diaz, editor of the weekly newspaper Horizonte Sabanero Prada was murdered in Sabana Torres, in the Colombian province of Santander, on July 12, 2002 after exposing mishandling of public funds in the local city administration. One year after his death the Attorney General’s Office called off the investigation into the crime, saying that it was impossible to identify those responsible. We would request your good offices, Mr. President, for the investigation to be speeded up so as to solve this crime and the guilty be brought to justice. Sincerely,