Attacks on the Press in 2007 - Snapshots: Dominican Republic
|Publisher||Committee to Protect Journalists|
|Publication Date||February 2008|
|Cite as||Committee to Protect Journalists, Attacks on the Press in 2007 - Snapshots: Dominican Republic, February 2008, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/47c5678f8a.html [accessed 20 October 2014]|
On May 2, a court in the southern city of Azua sentenced Vladimir Pujols, leader of the drug trafficking gang Los Sayayines, to 30 years in prison for the 2004 murder of local journalist Juan Emilio Andújar Matos. The court also ordered Pujols to pay 1.3 million pesos (US$39,500) to radio reporter Jorge Luis Sención, who witnessed the attack and was shot during a later ambush. Pujols' lawyers told local reporters that he would appeal his conviction. The Dominican press reported that Ricardo Agramonte, identified as another gang member, was sentenced to five years in prison on a related conspiracy count.
Erica Guzmán, correspondent in the eastern city of Samaná for the national daily Hoy and the national station Radio Popular, told CPJ that on the night of June 11, her daughter received two anonymous calls threatening the journalist and her family with death. According to Guzmán, the caller said the journalist talked too much. Guzmán told CPJ she believed the threats were linked to an article she had recently published on two local officials accused of corruption. Local authorities provided the correspondent with a police escort after she reported the threats.
Robert Vargas, director of the biweekly Ciudad Oriental, was attacked and threatened by a group of people angered by the publication's reporting on prostitution and disorderly conduct in bars in the city of Santo Domingo Este, the journalist told CPJ. At 3 a.m. on December 2, a group of unidentified individuals threw rocks and bottles at Vargas' home, and one of the crowd members threatened to "rip his head off," according to the journalist. The following day, Vargas denounced the attack in an interview with national television station Noticias SIN. Shortly after the interview, another group gathered outside his home, and at least one person fired gunshots in the air, Vargas said. Local police posted a unit outside Vargas' home.