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Radio commentator who spoke out against corruption assassinated in Coclé

(ARTICLE 19/IFEX) - On the night of 6 November 2011, 65-year-old radio commentator Darío Fernández Jaén was assassinated as he was on his way home, along with one his children, in the city of Penononé, in the central Panamanian province of Coclé. Fernández, who was a lawyer by trade, was the former governor of the province and president of the Revolutionary Democratic Party (Partido Revolucionario Democrático, PRD). After leaving political office, he produced and hosted a political commentary programme on a radio station he owned, Radio Mi Favorita. On his programme, Fernández had reported on alleged irregularities in the allocation of land titles in Coclé del Norte.

On 13 November, Panama celebrated its national Day of the Journalist. Members of the journalistic community called on the authorities to investigate and clarify the circumstances of Fernández's assassination. If the killing was related to his work as a radio commentator, it would represent the first case of this type in Panama.

ARTICLE 19 expresses its support for Fernández's family and the journalistic community in Panama. At the same time, the organisation calls on the authorities to carry out a thorough investigation and identify those responsible for the killing, in order to ensure that this case does not set a negative precedent in the country.
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