April 25, 2024

Press Freedom


Guatemala September 8, 2006

H.E. Oscar Jose Rafael Berger
Office of the President
Palacio Nacional, Nivel 2
6 Calle entre 6 y 7 Avenidas, Zona 1
Guatemala City 01001
Republic of Guatemala

Your Excellency:

The Overseas Press Club of America (OPC) would like to add its voice to those of others who are shocked by the assassination attempt on Vinicio Aguilar Mancilla and who call for a vigorous investigation of this crime.

Although it is possible that Aguilar was the victim of an ordinary crime — that seems unlikely. He is a prominent figure and a radio host for a station that has figured in controversy. According to reports we have received, Aguilar links the attack to his work. Reportedly, just before shooting him, one of his assailants said, “This is to shut you up.”

All around the world, journalists have become increasingly the victims of threats, attacks, and assassinations by ruthless people who want to silence them. In many places, the press has indeed become intimidated and can not do its job. A democracy can not survive unless the news is delivered to the people honestly and fairly.

The OPC, which has been defending freedom of the press around the world for almost seven decades, believe the attack on Aguilar must be taken with the utmost seriousness. We urge you to do all in your power to see that Aguilar’s would-be murderers are brought to justice, Your Excellency.

We await news of your progress.

Respectfully yours,
Jeremy Main
Kevin McDermott
Freedom of the Press Committee



Marco Antonio Cortez

Special Prosecutor for Crimes Against Journalists and Trade Unionists

7a. Avenida 11-20, Zona 1

Ciudad de Guatemala


Fax: (011.502.2) 20-68-73


Guillermo Castillo

Ambassador of Guatemala to the U.S.A.

Embassy of the Republic of Guatemala

2220 R Street, NW

Washington , DC 20008

Fax: (202) 745-1908


Ambassador Jorge Skinner-Klée Arenales

Permanent Representative

Permanent Mission of the Republic of Guatemala

to the United Nations

57 Park Avenue

New York , NY 10016

Fax: (212) 685-8741


James M. Derham

U.S. Ambassador to Guatemala

Embassy of the United States of America

Avenida Reforma 7-01, Zona 10

Guatemala City




2a Calle 1-42, Zona 1

Ciudad de Guatemala


Fax: (011.502.2) 21-25-21


Hon. Hugo Leonel Maúl Figueroa


Corte Suprema de Justicia

61 Calle 7-70, Zona 1

Ciudad de Guatemala

Republic of Guatemala

Fax: (011.502.2) 30-03-90


Hon. Edgardo Daniel Barreda Valenzuela

Corte Suprema de Justicia

61 Calle 7-70, Zona 1

Ciudad de Guatemala

Republic of Guatemala

Fax: (011.502.2) 30-66-26