12 February 2016

IAPA condemns cyberattacks on newspapers in El Salvador


It calls for in-depth investigation

MIAMI, Florida (February 12, 2015)—The Inter American Press Association (IAPA) today condemned cyberattacks on El Salvador newspapers La Prensa Gráfica and El Diario de Hoy after learning this week of a report by computer experts, and it called for an in-depth investigation to identify those behind these attacks and who carried them out.

According to local media reports this week computer legal experts analyzed the communications of a network of hackers that is suspected of being led by a public official and was operating behind the façade of a false digital marketing agency, identified as Bunker.

The experts' report was said to link San Salvador Mayor Nayib Bukele, of the FMLN party, to the network, claimed to be responsible for cloning of Web sites and the use of various commercials and false material with the publication of fraudulent news that involved the editors and publishers of La Prensa Gráfica, José Roberto Dutriz, and of El Diario de Hoy, Fabricio Altamirano.

Claudio Paolillo, chairman of the IAPA's Committee on Freedom of the Press and Information, stressed condemnation "of these ever more frequent attacks in the Americas which we should continue to denounce, especially because the expert documents of the Federal Attorney General's Office confirm that this was an attack of a political nature on two independent media."

Paolillo, editor of the Montevideo, Uruguay, weekly Búsqueda, underscored "the seriousness that this case involves for press freedom, the credibility of the media and the public's right to information." He urged the Attorney General's Office and the National Civil Police to investigate speedily and determine responsibilities.

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.