|IAPA calls for urgent probe into killing of news photographer in Ecuador|
Miami (July 3, 2012)—The Inter American Press Association (IAPA) today condemned the killing of Ecuadorean news photographer Byron Baldeón and called on the local authorities to conduct a prompt investigation to determine who was responsible and the motive.
Baldeón, 31, a freelance photographer, was killed on Sunday (July 1) afternoon in the town of El Triunfo in the coastal province of Guayas. Two men on a motorcycle intercepted him as he was arriving home and shot him several times. He was a stringer for the newspaper Extra in Guayaquil, the provincial capital.
The chairman of the IAPA’s Committee on Freedom of the Press and Information, Gustavo Mohme, expressed outrage at the incident and urged the authorities “to investigate this crime promptly, solve it and punish those responsible.”
Although the motive for the killing was not immediately known, according to local media Baldeón had been called in by the local public prosecutor’s office over a photo he had taken of a dumpster containing stolen television sets, linked in May to police officers.
The IAPA is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to the defense and promotion of freedom of the press and of expression in the Americas. It is made up of more than 1,300 print publications from throughout the Western Hemisphere and is based in Miami, Florida. The IAPA Impunity Project is funded by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and has the mission of combating violence against journalists and lessening the impunity surrounding the majority of such crimes. For more information please go to http://www.sipiapa.org; http://www.impunidad.com.