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IAPA urges president to pursue investigation into journalist's 2002 murder

(IAPA/IFEX) - The following is a 24 July 2007 IAPA press release:


MIAMI, Florida (July 24) - In a further step in its campaign aimed at garnering support for its demand that the unpunished murders of journalists be solved, the Inter American Press Association (IAPA) today called on Colombian President Alvaro Uribe Vélez to intervene to have the investigation into the murder of journalist Mario Prada Díaz reopened and the guilty brought to justice.

Prada, editor of the weekly newspaper Horizonte Sabanero, was murdered in Sabana Torres, in the Colombian province of Santander, on July 12, 2002 after exposing mishandling of public funds in the local city administration.

One year after his death the Attorney General's Office called off the investigation into the crime, saying that it was impossible to identify those responsible.

The IAPA is inviting newspaper readers in the Americas to join its campaign "Let's Put an End to Impunity" on the Web site , where they can sign a letter addressed to the president asking for harsh punishment of those who order the murder of journalists and those who carry out such crimes.

Last week Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, was the venue of the IAPA-organized Hemispheric Conference on The Judiciary, The Press and Impunity in which the chief justices of courts throughout the Western Hemisphere and newspaper editors and publishers together explored, among other issues, the need for further legal reforms to more effectively punish attacks on freedom of expression and prevent those guilty of crimes against journalists from literally getting away with murder.

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