Target: Bolivian government
Goal: Prosecute attackers of journalist who was attacked for speaking out against corruption and smuggling
78-year-old journalist, Fernando Vidal, and studio tech, Karen Anze, were set on fire during Vidal’s radio show on in Yacuiba, Bolivia two miles from the Argentine border. Vidal was speaking out against the smuggling of liquid petroleum gas on his radio show at the station he owns called, Radio Popular. Masked men broke into the station and threw petrol bombs at Vidal before pouring petrol throughout the station and setting it on fire.
Vidal and Anze suffered second and third degree burns, but survived the attack. Please sign this petition and urge Bolivia to seek attempted manslaughter and arson charges for the men who have been arrested as suspects.
The three men, Eduardo Vargas, Juan José Camacho and Jairo Sejas Chavarría, broke into the station in broad daylight and set Vidal on fire as he was on air. The BBC reported that government minister, Carlos Romero, believes this attack to have been ordered and stated that Bolivian police are investigating to find out who hired the three suspects.
This attack was meant to send a message to other journalists speaking out against smuggling and an attempt to scare people into silence. This terrorism should not be tolerated and hopefully investigations will lead to arrests for those in charge of the corrupt smuggling ring.
Organisations such as Amnesty International and Reporters without Borders are right to speak out against this attack and call for swift action by the Bolivian government to protect its journalists. Urge Bolivia to deal harshly with these criminals and seek justice for Vidal by prosecuting his attackers for attempted manslaughter and arson.
Dear Bolivian Government,
The attack on journalist Fernando Vidal shows a gross disrespect for life and Bolivian law. Please deal with these criminals harshly and seek justice for Vidal and studio tech Karen Anze who were injured in the attack. Prosecute the three suspects for attempted manslaughter and arson and investigate the attack to find out who ultimately ordered the attack to send a message to other outspoken journalists.
This violence should be taken seriously and dealt with as a terrorist attack, as it was clearly meant to intimidate others into silence. Reporters without Borders believes that the attack may have been ordered for political reasons, as Vidal often spoke out against the management of public funds. Do not hesitate to investigate corrupt Bolivian officials in this investigation. Please seek justice for this 78-year-old man who risked his life to speak out against corruption.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Watchsmart via Flickr