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Sports journalist shot to death in Venezuela

The murder of sports reporter Johnny González in Venezuela has brought a strong rebuke from the Inter American Press Association (IAPA), which called on the authorities to carry out an urgent investigation so as to learn the motives and determine who was responsible.

González, 33, covered sports news for the newspaper Líder, published by the Caracas-based editorial company Cadena Capriles. At 1:55 a.m. on Friday (May 3, 2013) he was on his way to work when he was intercepted by men on a motorcycle and in a car who appeared to be intending to rob him of his vehicle. According to local media González resisted and the assailants shot him three times.

The chairman of the IAPA's Committee on Freedom of the Press and Information, Claudio Paolillo, offered sympathy to Gonzalez' family and colleagues and urged the local authorities “to carry out an immediate investigation to learn the reasons for the murder and prevent those guilty of it from going unpunished.”

Paolillo, editor of the Montevideo, Uruguay, weekly Búsqueda, cited the IAPA-inspired Declaration of Chapultepec principle 4, which states, “Freedom of expression and of the press are severely limited by murder, terrorism, kidnapping, intimidation, the unjust imprisonment of journalists, the destruction of facilities, violence of any kind and impunity for perpetrators. Such acts must be investigated promptly and punished harshly.”

On April 12, 26-year-old reporter Doris Vilora Palomares was also murdered in Venezuela. It is not known if her death was connected to her work as a journalist.

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