Families of murdered reporters ask for more coordination to Colombia and Ecuador

Families of murdered reporters ask for more coordination to Colombia and Ecuador

The relatives and the defense of the newspaper team of the newspaper El Comercio assassinated in April today requested greater coordination between the prosecutors of Ecuador and Colombia, after a working meeting that they had with both States in the 169th session of the IACHR.

The relatives of Javier Ortega, Paul Rivas and Efraín Segarra held a meeting of almost two and a half hours with representatives of Ecuador and Colombia, which also included country rapporteur Esmeralda Arosemena and Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression Edison Lanza.

"The representatives of the victims asked both States that their prosecutors extend the horizon of their investigations," says a statement from the relatives sent to Quito from the town of Boulder, in the state of Denver, where the meeting took place.

And although they acknowledge "the efforts of the Colombian Prosecutor's Office to find the material and intellectual authors of the kidnapping and triple murder," the victims stressed the importance of "inserting the facts in a context."

At the same time, they asked to "analyze the possible actions or omissions in which agents of the State may have incurred before, during and after the events that occurred 6 months ago".

The journalist team was kidnapped on the border between Ecuador and Colombia and, in mid-April, the Ecuadorian government confirmed the death of the three, attributing the crime to a dissident group of the FARC calling itself the Oliver Sinisterra Front.

A group led by the guerrilla Walter Patricio Arizala, alias "Guacho", wounded in a military operation last month, but who has not been captured.

In its meeting in Boulder, the IACHR called today for more "fluidity" to the governments of both countries to resolve the case.

Rapporteur Lanza explained to the press that the Commission raised "the observation" that it is "necessary to solve some situations of lack of fluidity in the exchange of evidence and information," a problem that Colombia and Ecuador "were open" to solve.

"The Special Monitoring Team (ESE) has a mandate that can not work effectively if access to documentation is limited and if you work with incomplete information," said at the meeting Yadira Aguagallo, photographer Paúl Rivas's partner and presented the victims' petitions to the commissioners.

Aguagallo also reiterated that during the official visit of the ESE to the city of Quito last July, the authorities publicly committed themselves to grant all facilities for the good progress of the team.


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