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Journalist killed, others to be tried

(Periodistas/IFEX) - The following is a 13 May 1999 Periodistas press

**Updates IFEX alert of 13 May 1999**



The association PERIODISTAS is condemning the assassination of a journalist
which occurred today at 1:25 a.m. in the city of Trelew, and is expressing
its support for the journalists Sergio Moreno and Laura Términe, who are
faced with a recent ruling that obliges them to appear in court again
because of charges brought against them by former member of the intelligence
services Rodolfo Solís.

Ricardo Gangeme, editor of "El Informador Chubutense", was assassinated at
1:25 a.m., on Thursday 13 May, in the city of Trelew, as he was arriving at
the building where he had been living for the last few days. It is believed
that he was attacked while he was parking his car, given that when the
police arrived at 1:30 a.m., they found the car with its lights on. Although
a ban on reporting on the case is still in effect, it appears that Gangeme
was shot by a .38 calibre handgun which was fired from a distance of one to
one and a half metres. He was shot in the left eyebrow and the bullet
entered from above. A large sum of money was found in the journalist's
pocket, which rules out robbery as a possible motive. The motive for the
crime is not known but Trelew journalists noted that on the night of the
previous Sunday, a powerful Patagonian businessman, Héctor Fernández, tried
to run him over with his truck and told him "what you are saying, it's going
to cost you your life." Gangeme denounced these threats to the Trelew first
police station and the case was being considered by the Trelew criminal
court, under the charge of Basílico. In the last four editions of his weekly
magasine, Gangeme had published articles on irregularities in purchases by
the Trelew Electric Company for Corralon Fernández, which is owned by the
businessman. About two years ago, legal proceedings were initiated to
examine these irregularities. In writing his articles, Gangeme was using
information contained in the records of the case.

Yesterday, the I Court of the Criminal Annulment Chamber ruled on a case of
a complaint for damages that had been brought forth by the former director
of Counterintelligence of the State Secretary of Intelligence, colonel
Solís, against journalists Moreno and Términe. Judges Alfredo Horacio
Bisordi, Juan C. Rodríguez Basavilbaso and Pedro Rubens David decided to
annul the lower court's not guilty verdict and to hand the case back to this
tribunal for a new ruling. PERIODISTAS wishes to call attention to this new
case which is one more in the series of decisions restricting press freedom
that have been passed by the Argentinian courts in recent years.

PERIODISTAS is condemning Gangeme's assassination and the ruling against
Moreno y Términe. They are two distinct yet equally condemnable forms of
attacking the press.

Furthermore this Association is calling on the police and judiciary
authorities in charge of finding those responsible for this terrible act of
violence, to act efficiently and speedily and thus avoid the possibility
that this crime will go unpunished just as in the case of the murder of José
Luis Cabezas, which still remains in impunity more than two years after it

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