20 August 2013
Murder of another journalist, new wave of violence against Guatemalan press bring IAPA condemnation
Miami (August 20, 2013)The murder of journalist Carlos Orellana Chávez in Guatemala today brought strong condemnation by the Inter American Press Association (IAPA), which urged the authorities to investigate this and other acts in a new wave of violence against the press in the Central American country.
Miami (August 20, 2013)—The murder of journalist Carlos Orellana Chávez in Guatemala today brought strong condemnation by the Inter American Press Association (IAPA), which urged the authorities to investigate this and other acts in a “new wave of violence against the press” in the Central American country. The remains of Orellana Chávez, a 72-year-old journalist and radio announcer, with several bullet wounds to the head and other parts of the body, was discovered yesterday in the town of San Bernadino, Suchitiepéquez province, in the southwest of the country. In addition to Chávez’s death, the IAPA last week called for the solving of a criminal attack on journalist Fredy Rodas, which also occurred in Suchitiepéquez province, and another on Vernick Gudiel, head of the investigative team of the newspaper elPeriódico, whose home was shot at by unidentified assailants on August 15. The chairman of the IAPA’s Committee on Freedom of the Press and Information, Claudio Paolillo, repeated his concerns regarding the deterioration of journalist’s safety in this country, urging the authorities to investigate what appears to be “a new wave of violence against the press.” “Without investigation and without justice,” said Paolillo, editor of the Montevideo, Uruguay, weekly Búsqueda, “there will be no deterrents to stop those who want to censor and silence the press.” The killing of Chávez was initially speculated to be a car robbery incident, however, this hypothesis was discarded after the vehicle was found with two mobile phones some cash, and other personal objects belonging to the victim. According to the police, all that was missing was the firearm Chávez used to carry. The person in charge of the Public Prosecutor’s Office for Crimes Against Journalists, Elmer Yat, said that “we are giving priority to the theory that the attack was due to the victim’s work as a journalist.” With more than 25 years on the radio Chávez hosted the program “De la radio a la television” (From Radio to Television) on the cable channel Óptimo 23, in which he denounced corruption in Suchitiepéquez. He had also served as the mayor of Mazatenango town from 2000 to 2004. The Guatemala Journalists Association (APG) condemned this new incident and recalled the murder this year of three other journalists – Luis de Jesús Lima on August 6, Luis Alberto Lemus Ruano on April 7 and Napoleón Jarquín Duarte on March 20. 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.