The editor and founder of the Asunción, Paraguay, newspaper ABC Color, Aldo Zuccolillo Moscarda, a tenacious defender of press freedom who energetically fought the Alfredo Stroessner dictatorship and stood out for his denunciations of public corruption and impunity, died on July 14 at the age of 89.
The workers of the newspaper company, dressed in their uniforms, and a large group of friends and sympathizers accompanied members of Zuccolillo's family, headed by his daughter Natalia, during a funeral service held on Sunday (July 15).
"Aldo was a businessman and an exemplary fighter, but above all he was a great journalist, an innovator, a firm believer in freedom of the press, which he practiced in his own newspaper, where frequent was the debate of all the ideas that make up a society," declared IAPA President Gustavo Mohme.
A spokesman of the newspaper reported that Natalia Zuccolillo will continue at the head of the newspaper company. Her father also made investments in the real estate market and acquired and funded other news media in addition to ABC Color.
Founded in 1967 Zuccolillo's newspaper was one of the first to use color offset printing. The paper was shut down in 1984 on the orders of Stroessner, but it came out again in 1989 following the dictator's overthrow.
During that fight ABC Color documented 32 arrests of its journalists, two of them against Zuccolillo. In 1984 an IAPA mission was received with hostility in Asunción, including the unfurling of banners condemning the organization's presence.
Zuccolillo chaired the IAPA's Committee on Freedom of the Press and Information during the1980s, a time in which Latin American journalism found itself threatened by dictatorships of various ideological kinds and he suffered great personal risks in defense of democracy and the state of law in his country.
In March 2009 Zuccolillo was the host of the IAPA's Midyear Meeting in Asunción, Paraguay. Shortly afterwards, after announcing his retirement, his teammates named him permanent honorary member of the hemisphere organization's Executive Committee.