MIAMI, Florida (June 28, 2016)—The Inter American Press Association (IAPA) today condemned the murder of Guatemalan journalist Álvaro Alfredo Aceituno López and urged the authorities to carry out an immediate investigation so as to determine the motive and identify those responsible.
Aceituno López, a reporter and director of Radio Ilusión in the town of Coatepeque, Quetzaltenango, in southeastern Guatemala, was killed on Saturday (June 25). According to eye-witnesses unidentified persons traveling in a vehicle shot him in the head. He was rushed to a local hospital where he died shortly afterwards from his injuries.
The chairman of the IAPA's Committee on Freedom of the Press and Information, Claudio Paolillo, expressed alarm at what he saw as a "worrying pattern of conduct of violence against journalists in the region that would seem to be extended without any resistance on the part of the authorities in charge of guaranteeing freedom of the press."
The journalist, 65, hosted local news program "Acontecer Coatepecano" and the segment titled "If you don't say it, who will say it?" which with local people's participation dealt with issues of health, safety, education and the city administration, among others of interest to the community.
Paolillo, editor of the Montevideo, Uruguay, weekly Búsqueda, reminded the government of its duty to investigate and ascertain the facts, as stipulated in the Declaration of Principles on Freedom of Expression of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights and the Declaration of Chapultepec on the fact that "murder, violence of any kind and the impunity of the aggressors curtail freedom of expression."
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.