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IAPA condemns murder of music radio journalist in Guatemala

The murder of Guatemalan radio announcer Luis de Jesús Lima was condemned by the Inter American Press Association (IAPA), which called upon the authorities of the Central American country to carry out a prompt investigation to appoint responsibility and learn the motive behind the murder. The organization also urged the involvement of the Special Prosecutor's Office that fights crimes against journalists to resolve this and other unpunished cases.

Lima, 68, was killed on August 6 in the town of Zacapa, Zacapa province, in eastern Guatemala. The broadcaster and journalist was attacked while arriving in his vehicle to the radio station La Sultana where he hosted a popular music program and interviewed local personalities. According to local media, his assailants, who were riding a motorcycle, shot him several times.

IAPA'S Chairman of Freedom of the Press and Information, and Director of the weekly newspaper Búsqueda from Montevideo, Uruguay, Claudio Paolillo, condemned the crime and urged local authorities “to perform a rapid and in-depth investigation of the circumstances surrounding the crime, find the people responsible and bring justice to the offense.”

Paolillo also stressed the importance of the Special Prosecutor's Office's involvement in the investigation of the case. This organization was created in 2001, after the disappearance and presumed murder of journalist Irma Flaquer during the 1980's, as a result of negotiations between the IAPA and the Guatemalan government, where the Inter-American Human Rights Commission acts as the intermediary.

Lima was also the director of the on-air magazine “Somos Zacapa” in which he critically tackled and questioned local authorities concerning environmental issues, lack of safety and corruption.

While the motive behind Lima's murder is still unknown, it is believed that his killers were waiting for him, discarding robbery as the motive. Lima had more than 40 years of experience in journalism.

Also killed in Guatemala during this year were journalists Luis Alberto Lemus Ruano (on April 7) and Napoleón Jarquín Duarte (on March 20). Neither of these crimes has been solved and ithas not be determined whether they had anything to do with the victims' line of work as journalists.

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