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COMMUNITY RADIO DIRECTOR GUNNED DOWN

The director of a community radio station in eastern Paraguay was killed in his home last month, report the Paraguayan Union of Journalists (SPP) and the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ).

Martín Ocampos Páez, director of the Hugua Ñandu FM community radio station, was shot to death on 12 January. IFJ and the Paraguayan Union of Journalists (SPP) say his death may have been linked to comments Ocampos made about the complicity of the police and local officials with drug traffickers in the region. According to SPP, he had repeatedly been threatened by traffickers.

SPP says violence against the media in Paraguay is on the rise, partly because "the government cannot provide security to the most vulnerable."

SPP has also recently spoken out against the death threats and assault reported by journalist Aldo Lezcano, a correspondent for the daily "ABC Color", after he reported on financial irregularities of a war veterans' union, as well as the attacks against Richard Villasboa and camera operator Blas Salcedo, of the television station Canal 13, who were mistreated after they attempted to report on a local penitentiary.

Visit these links:
- IFJ: http://www.ifex.org/en/content/view/full/100858/
- IFEX Paraguay page: http://tinyurl.com/ah2qqr
(18 February 2009)

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