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Trial of alleged killers of journalist Carlos Quispe opens, four city councillors among the accused

(RSF/IFEX) - On 18 June 2008, the trial of the alleged killers of Carlos Quispe Quispe, a journalist on Radio Municipal Pucarani opened. The journalist died in Pucarani, in La Paz department, western Bolivia on 29 March after being beaten up by opponents of the mayor.

The six defendants, charged with "homicide" and "association to commit a crime", were all in court for the opening of the trial: four municipal councillors - Edwin Huampo Espinoza, Basilio Poma Poma, Rufina Zerna Flores and Nicolaza Cruz Quispe - and Julio Quisberth Quispe and Efraín Ticonipa, two leaders of the Pucarani municipal "vigilance committee", a body that oversees council activities. The parents of the murder victim and Jorge Borda, legal advisor to the mayor, who is a civil party in the case, will all be giving evidence. According to statements made by Borda to RSF, the journalist was beaten up by members of the vigilance committee, incited by the accused municipal councillors.

RSF welcomes the opening of the trial as a first step in the fight against impunity and hopes that the court in Pucarani will determine the individual and collective responsibilities in the journalist's murder.

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