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Shots fired at journalist two days after he receives death threat

(IPYS/IFEX) - On 30 September 2009, unidentified individuals fired two shots at the car in which La Voz de su Amigo radio station journalist Aquiles Arismendi was travelling with his son. Arismendi was not hurt in the incident. He told FUNDAMEDIOS that sources close to him have confirmed that hired killers were paid US$15,000 to kill him. The incident took place in the coastal city of Esmeraldas.

On 28 September, the journalist reported having received a death threat in a text message that said, "You're not going to screw anybody else around. Now we're going to screw you because you're going to die. You have just a few hours left, we warned you and you paid no heed."

According to Arismendi, the individuals who sent him the message - whom he did not want to identify - are the same people who a few days earlier handed out fliers insulting him.

Arismendi also said that the attack and threats came from political groups whom he had criticised on his radio programme. Arismendi also holds a public position and he is affiliated with the Democratic People's Movement (Movimiento Popular Democrático, MPD), which holds the power in the local region.

Arismendi said he has made a videotape with the names of the people who are conspiring to kill him and that he will file a complaint with the Prosecutor's Office in order to have the case investigated.

The journalist is also the public relations director for the Esmeraldas Provincial Council.

FUNDAMEDIOS and IPYS call on the police and government authorities to follow up on the journalist's complaint and provide him with protection.

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