Spain: Journalist assassinated in Basque country

May 9, 2000

Prime Minister José Maria Aznar
Complejo de la Moncloa
Madrid 28071

Via Fax: 34-91-390-0217

Your Excellency,

The Committee to Protect Journalists is deeply concerned about the recent assassination of political columnist José Luis López de la Calle.

López de la Calle, a regular contributor to the Basque edition of the Madrid-based daily El Mundo, was gunned down outside his home on Sunday morning, May 7. Though no arrests have been made, Interior Ministry officials are reportedly attributing the crime to the Basque separatist group ETA.

López de la Calle was an outspoken critic of ETA’s violent campaign for independence, and had received death threats from the group in the past.

This is the fourth violent attack on a Spanish journalist this year. In the past seven weeks, two journalists have received letter bombs which were safely disarmed by the police, while another bomb exploded at the home of a third journalist. Officials blame ETA for all these attacks.

As a nonpartisan organization of journalists dedicated to the defense of our colleagues around the world, we abhor this apparent campaign of intimidation and violence against the Spanish press. We urge you to ensure that this crime is thoroughly investigated and that those responsible are brought to justice.


Ann K. Cooper
Executive Director