OFFICE OF THE SPECIAL RAPPORTEUR FOR FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION
CONDEMNS MURDER OF JOURNALIST IN
Washington, D.C., May 23, 2011 — The Office of the Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) condemns the murder of journalist Wilfred Ojeda Peralta, which occurred on Tuesday, May 17, and recognizes the steps taken by the Scientific, Criminal, and Forensic Investigations Corps [Cuerpo de Investigaciones Científicas, Penales y Criminalísticas] (CICPC) to investigate the circumstances of the crime immediately. The Office of the Special Rapporteur considers it essential for the authorities to undertake exhaustive and diligent investigations in order to establish the motives of the crime, punish those responsible, guarantee that reparations be made to the next-of-kin, and prevent the repetition of this type of violence.
According to the information received, Wilfred Ojeda was found murdered in the early morning hours of May 17 in a deserted and isolated area of the town of
Wilfred Ojeda, who was 56 years of age, wrote an opinion column entitled "Dimensión Crítica" ["Critical Aspect"] in the daily newspaper Clarín, in La
The Office of the Special Rapporteur has been informed that the criminal investigators are examining different theories regarding the motives of the crime. In this respect, the Office of the Special Rapporteur asks the Venezuelan authorities not to discount the possibility that the murder was motivated by Ojeda’s journalistic work. Clarification of this crimes and punishment of those responsible are an essential step toward deterring violence and its impact on rights such as the right to life and freedom of expression.
Principle 9 of the IACHR Declaration of Principles on Freedom of Expression states that "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."
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