2 April 2001

Alert

RSF concerned over threats against three "El Periódico" journalists


Incident details

Enrique Castañeda, Luis Escobar, Sylvia Gereda

death threat

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(RSF/IFEX) - In a letter to Minister of the Interior Byron Barrientos, RSF (www.rsf.fr)">http://www.rsf.fr">www.rsf.fr)expressed concern over the threats against Sylvia Gereda, Luis Escobar and Enrique Castañeda, publisher and two journalists, respectively, with the daily "El Periodico". RSF asked the minister to launch a serious investigation in order to identify and punish the perpetrators. "The threats against the journalists compromise their freedom to exercise their profession. It is the government's responsibility to guarantee their safety," stated Robert Ménard, RSF's secretary-general.


According to information obtained by RSF, on 27 March 2001, Gereda was attacked by an unknown assailant, who grabbed her by the neck, insulted and threatened her. A few hours earlier, she was "warned" by a man claiming to be an employee of the National Mortgage Credit Bank (Crédit hypothécaire national, CHN) that he had been hired by CHN president José Armando Llort to kill the publisher and her two colleagues. He also stated that Gereda, Escobar, Castañeda and their families were under surveillance and being followed. Castañeda adds that he was indeed followed by a vehicle and that the alleged CHN employee revealed precise details about Gereda and Escobar's daily schedules. The threats follow "El Periodico"'s publication of an investigation into corruption at the heart of the aforementioned bank, and the particular role played by its president in financial misappropriation that apparently implicates certain members of the government.




Source

Reporters Without Borders
47, rue Vivienne
75002 Paris
France
rsf (@) rsf.org
Fax:+33 1 45 23 11 51
Guatemala
 
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