REGIONS:

Two journalists killed in one week

Last week, a Guatemalan television journalist who had been repeatedly threatened for his reporting was found dead and a Venezuelan political journalist was gunned down, report the Inter American Press Association (IAPA), the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) and Reporters Without Borders (RSF).

Guatemalan journalist and teacher Yensi Roberto Ordoñez Galdámez, 24, left home last Wednesday night in the southern province of Escuintla, and never returned. The next day, his body was found in a black vehicle outside the school where he taught; he had been stabbed several times. A news reporter on Channel 14, a local cable television station, Ordoñez Galdámez had told his family he was being extorted for US$3,250.

In response, IAPA expressed concern at the wave of violence "that continues to be waged against journalists, especially all those who live and work in inland areas of countries" where "the press is more unprotected and more vulnerable."

On 17 May in Venezuela, Wilfred Iván Ojeda, a 56-year-old columnist with the regional newspaper "El Clarín", who was also an activist with the opposition Acción Democrática party and a former member of the state legislature, was found dead in the city of La Victoria, Aragua state. The daily "El Nacional" said Ojeda was driving on 16 May when his vehicle was intercepted by unidentified assailants. His body was found in a vacant lot, shot in the head, gagged and hooded.

Ojeda wrote a weekly column called "Critical Dimension" for 22 years. His writing covered local politics but was not considered to be overly critical.

Three journalists have been killed for their work since 2002 in Venezuela. RSF is suggesting Ojeda's murder was carried out by an organised crime group.

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