(SPP/IFEX) - 12 July 2011 - The SPP board of directors expresses its support for journalists José María Martínez and Nelson Gómez, both from Alto Verá, in Itapúa, who have reported incidents of persecution, harassment, intimidation and death threats against them.
José María Martínez is a journalist with Radio La Voz de Alto Verá 99.3 FM, a correspondent for Radio Arapysandu in San Ignacio, Misiones and a teacher at Escuela Básica Nº 4.454 Juana María de Lara. Both he and Nelson Gómez have discussed cases of corruption, involving Partido Liberal Radical Auténtico (PLRA) members Crispín Aquino and his daughter Victoria Aquino, on their radio shows.
The journalists have pointed to PLRA deputy Edgar Ortíz as the person behind the harassment and intimidation they have been experiencing. Both Crispín and Victoria Aquino are part of a group within the party that Ortíz is also a part of.
SPP condemns these incidents as direct violations of freedom of expression and calls on Ortíz as well as the national government to guarantee the safety of Martínez and Gómez. SPP will also be presenting complaints about these incidents to the Ministry of the Interior and asking them to protect the journalists' right to practice their profession, as is guaranteed in the Constitution.
(Please note this is an abridged translation.)