OFFICE OF THE SPECIAL RAPPORTEUR EXPRESSES CONCERN
OVER ATTACKS AGAINST MEDIA IN
According to the information received, on March 25, police agents have fired tear gas bombs against Channel 36-Cholusat reporter Richard Casulá and cameraman Salvador Sandoval, while they were covering the police actions in a teachers´ demonstration in
In addition, the director of La Voz de Zacate Grande community-based radio station, Franklin Meléndez, was shot in the leg on March 13. According to reports, on that day, two men reproached Meléndez for his coverage of the area´s land ownership conflicts, and one of them shot him. Furthermore, reporters from La Voz de Zacate Grande are said to have received serious death threats recently and have requested precautionary measures.
The Office of the Special Rapporteur expresses its concern over these events which add to the serious murders and attacks against journalists committed during 2010, and recalls that Principle 9 of the IACHR’s Declaration of Principles on Freedom of Expression states: "The murder, kidnapping, intimidation of and/or threats to social communicators, as well as the material destruction of communications media violate the fundamental rights of individuals and strongly restrict freedom of expression. It is the duty of the state to prevent and investigate such occurrences, to punish their perpetrators and to ensure that victims receive due compensation."