CPJ mourns the death of Jacques Roche

New York, July 14, 2005—The Committee to Protect Journalists mourns the death of Haitian journalist Jacques Roche, whose body was found today in the capital, Port-au-Prince. Roche, cultural editor with the daily Le Matin, was kidnapped on Sunday, according to international press reports.

Roche, who also hosted a local television station show, was taken from his car in the Port-au-Prince neighborhood of Nazon, the Haitian press reported. His captors demanded US$250,000 in ransom, The Associated Press said.

Over the past year, Haiti’s capital has been plagued by a wave of violence and abductions. The AP reported that more than 700 people have been killed in Port-au-Prince, including 40 police, during unrest over the past 10 months.

Roche’s abduction and murder do not appear to be directly related to his work, but journalists have limited their movements in response to the pervasive climate of lawlessness. On June 16, Nancy Roc, who hosted a weekly show for Radio Métropole, fled the country after she was threatened with abduction.