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Nicaragua22 August 2005

Adolfo Olivas Olivas’ presumed killer placed in custody

Taxi driver Santos Roberto Osegueda, who surrendered himself to the police on 17 August, was placed formally placed in custody on 19 August after confessing to the murder of journalist Adolfo Olivas Olivas. He said he killed Olivas after they got into an argument.

The police investigators have nonetheless not ruled out the possibility that the murder was linked to Olivas’ coverage of international drug trafficking. His colleagues had already confirmed that he had been receiving telephone death threats for several weeks prior to his murder. Msgr Abelardo Mata, the bishop of Estelí and head of a local human rights group, said Olivas had told him he intended to name certain people, including civil servants, who were involved in illegal activities.

17.08.05 - Call for thorough probe into newspaper correspondent’s murder

Reporters Without Borders voiced sadness and concern today at the murder of Adolfo Olivas Olivas, the correspondent of the leading daily La Prensa in Estelí, who was allegedly shot dead by his taxi driver on arriving home on 14 August.

"We call for a thorough investigation into the circumstances of his death and into the possibility that it was a contract killing," the press freedom organisation said, adding that it would monitor how the police handle the enquiry and, in particular, whether they pursue all leads.

Olivas was shot twice in the stomach just 20 metres from his home. The person said to have shot him, taxi driver Santos Roberto Osegueda Palacios, has not yet been arrested.

The taxi driver could have shot him in a dispute about the fare. But the possibility that he was killed because of his work as a journalist cannot be ruled out.

La Prensa managing editor Martha Marina González said Olivas had been receiving telephone death threats since he wrote a report about international drug trafficking on 1 August. He reportedly spoke about the threats to Roberto Petray of the Estelí Human Rights Association and asked Petray to go with him when he reported them to the police.

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