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Murder of camera operator brings IAPA condemnation, call for investigation

(IAPA/IFEX) - Miami, April 27, 2011 - The Inter American Press Association (IAPA) today expressed outrage at the murder in El Salvador of cameraman Alfredo Hurtado and called on the authorities in the Central American nation to carry out a prompt and effective investigation to determine who was responsible and what was the motive.

Hurtado, 39, was for the past two years a cameraman with the news program "Teleprensa" aired by Canal 33 television. On 25 April at around 7:00 p.m. he was riding in a public bus in the Ilopango district of San Salvador when he was shot several times in the head, and killed instantly. His assailants fled.

IAPA President Gonzalo Marroquín, president of the Guatemala City, Guatemala, newspaper Siglo 21, offered his sympathy to Hurtado's family and colleagues, declaring, "The best way to get to the truth and learn the reasons for this murder is for the authorities to act with haste and not to rule out any theory."

Police investigators initially discarded robbery as the motive.

While the reason for Hurtado's death remains unknown, Canal 33 said in a press release that "there are firm beliefs that his murder could have been linked to his work as a cameraman for the 'Teleprensa' newscast during the nighttime, mostly covering the police beat."

The station added that "awareness of a certain criminal act" was one of the main theories currently being pursued in the investigations. Local news media also said that gangs operated in the neighborhood where Hurtado lived and had committed a number of crimes there.

Members of Hurtado's family said that he and his wife had been receiving threats.
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