By: Editorial Staff
THE INTER AMERICAN Press Association has condemned the kidnapping of a Colombian newspaper publisher and urged authorities to make every effort to free him.
Jaime Ardila Casamitjana, publisher of the daily El Espacio of Bogota, was kidnapped April 10 at a restaurant in the city of Valledupar, where he was spending Easter weekend. Police said kidnappers were from the guerrilla National Liberation Army.
The IAPA noted that exactly a month earlier, the same group had assassinated Eustorgio Colemnares, who had published the newspaper La Opinion in Cucuta.
In the IAPA declaration, press freedom chairman Eduardo Ulibarri, editor of Costa Rica’s La Nacion, praised the bravery of Colombian journalists in confronting guerrilla groups and drug assassins who attempt to eliminate freedom of expression with “the ultimate censorship.”
He noted another 20 cases documented by the IAPA in the past year in which nine journalists were murdered and four kidnapped.
The organization also asked Peru’s justice minister, Fernando Vega Santa Gadea, to clarify a five-year prison sentence that journalist Danilo Quijano Silva received from a masked court.
Quijano, who wrote for the editorial page of the Lima daily La Republica, was charged with terrorism. He has been in jail awaiting trial for nearly a year.