Thursday, May 08, 2014

Bolivia: Bolivian journalist missing since January


Reporters Without Borders has urged the Bolivian authorities to carry out a full investigation into the disappearance of the journalist Christian Osvaldo Mariscal Calvimontes, who works for Canal Plus TV Tarija and has been missing since 19 January.

Investigators first looked into the possibility that he had been involved in a lovers' quarrel. The family's lawyer said: “It is not possible that the investigation has made no progress in four months. Some development in local or national politics is holding it back.”

Camille Soulier, head of the Reporters Without Borders Americas Desk, said: “This worrying disappearance must be investigated fully and we urge the authorities to make every effort to find Christian Mariscal.

“The possibility that it is connected to his work must not be ruled out. The impunity enjoyed by those who attack journalists in Bolivia is of particular concern.

“The double murder of the brother and sister Veronica and Victor Hugo PeƱasco Layme, in which eight of the 10 suspects have been freed and the two alleged murderers have still not been tried, is a painful reminder of this.”

The journalist's girlfriend and her new partner were arrested by the authorities in February and were released on bail. On 28 April the two suspects were ordered to be placed under house arrest by the judge in charge of the case.

Bolivia is ranked 94th of 180 countries in the 2014 edition of the World Press Freedom Index published by Reporters without Borders.