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Journalist stabbed

(ANP/IFEX) - On 15 November 2011, journalist Leopoldo Ibarra sustained eight stab wounds and a beating in the city of El Alto, near La Paz. According to the journalist, the attack was in retaliation for his coverage of local trade organisations.

Ibarra was in a taxi on his way home from the radio station, where he had just finished work, when he was attacked by unidentified individuals, then dropped from the moving vehicle onto the highway. The journalist said that the assailants had threatened to kill him.

Johnny Plata, the manager of Gente radio station, where Ibarra hosts a programme called "Press Freedom" (Libertad de Prensa), explained that the show discusses and analyses problems in El Alto and the activities of the municipal government and local businesses.

"We call on the police to investigate the incident, and to not leave it unpunished," Plata told Asociación Nacional de la Prensa's (ANP) press freedom monitoring department.

Ibarra's daughter had been held up a week earlier.

In October, the trade unions in the city of El Alto had pledged to take over "media outlets that were acting against member organisations [of the unions]" and had identified as targets Radio Bartolina Sisa and Catholic TV Channel 57.

ANP expresses its concern over these threats to free expression and press freedom in El Alto and calls on federal authorities to protect the rights of journalists and the media as guaranteed in the constitution (Constitución Política del Estado, CPE).

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