New York, April 2, 2009--The Committee to Protect Journalists called on Guatemalan authorities today to conduct an immediate and thorough investigation into the shooting of a two-man TV crew in Guatemala City on Wednesday. Unidentified gunmen killed veteran reporter Rolando Santiz and injured cameraman Antonio de León.
At around 5:10 p.m., Santiz and de León, a news crew for the
national television station Telecentro 13, were approached by two men on a
motorcycle as they were driving to the station's offices in
De León was taken to the Hospital General San Juan de Dios, Elsie Sierra, a spokeswoman for the TV station, told CPJ. A hospital spokesman told local reporters today that de León was in stable condition.
"We are saddened by the death of Rolando Santiz and send our condolences to his friends and family," said Robert Mahoney, CPJ's deputy director. "Guatemalan authorities must ensure that the investigation into Santiz's killing is thorough and provide Antonio de León with the ongoing necessary protection to assure that he is able to continue working as a journalist."
Santiz worked a as a reporter for more than 30 years and was
Rember Larios, deputy director of the Guatemalan police, told local reporters that authorities have begun an investigation and have moved de León into protective custody, according to Sierra. No information about the possible motive or suspects has been made public, Sierra told CPJ.
Violence associated with organized crime has escalated in
On August 20, José
Ruben Zamora, El Periódico's
president and a 1995 recipient of CPJ's International Press Freedom Award, was
abducted as he was leaving a bar on the outskirts of the capital. In October, a