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IFJ honours memory of photojournalist killed in Argentina

March against impunity: Members of FATPREN during the march to demand justice for José Luis Cabezas.

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) on Wednesday joined its affiliate in Argentina, the Argentinean Federation of Press Workers (FATPREN), its regional organisation, La Federación de Periodistas de América Latina y el Caribe (FEPALC) and other national organisations to mark the 14th anniversary of the murder of Argentinean photographer José Luis Cabezas and to condemn the impunity for his killers.

The activities, held in the coastal city of Pinamar, included a march which took place on one of the principal highways leading to a monument in Cabezas' honour. "The unresolved murder of José Cabezas demonstrates the continued scandal of impunity and the failure of governments to bring the killers of journalists to justice," said Jim Boumelha, IFJ President. "In this case it is outrageous that his killers have been released and are roaming freely."

Cabezas, a photographer who worked for Noticias magazine, was kidnapped, tortured and shot dead on 25 January 1997 after he had taken a photograph of a dead businessman, Alfredo Yabrá. Former police officers and men of the group known as "Los Horneros" were convicted for the crime. However, they were granted freedom on parole. One of the criminals is said to work in a private security company.

IFJ, which launched a campaign against impunity in Latin America for journalists' killers in 2008, welcomed the pursuit of justice by its affiliates and Cabezas' family. "IFJ is grateful to José's family and FATPREN for honouring our colleague's memory but also for continuing to demand justice 14 years after his murder. Journalists worldwide will continue to stand shoulder to shoulder with them until justice is done," added Boumelha.

The leadership of FATPREN and Cabezas' family pledged to continue their campaign until their demands are met.

"We did not accept that this crime be forgotten and we would not allow the country to put it at the back of its mind," said Gustavo Granero, General Secretary of FATPREN and IFJ Vice-President. "For over a decade journalists and media workers have been marching throughout Argentina to condemn this atrocious crime until the killers were finally put behind bars and to this day we continue to demand action against those who ordered the vicious killing. The jail sentences must be carried out and the criminals must return to prison."

Gladys Cabezas, sister of the killed photographer said "My father is no longer with us after he endured the pain of impunity in his last days. However, the support of the organisations and media helps us stand firm in our demands for true justice."

Date posted: January 29, 2011 Last modified: May 23, 2018 Total views: 122