Journalist escaped unharmed after his car was shot

New York, March 1, 2006—The Committee to Protect Journalists calls on Paraguayan authorities to fully investigate an attack against newspaper reporter Juan Augusto Roa, whose car was fired on by unidentified gunmen on Monday night near the southern city of Encarnación. The reporter was unharmed.

Roa, a correspondent for the Asunción-based daily ABC Color, told CPJ he was doing research in the city of Mayor Otaño for a story about the environmental effects of Paraguayan paper mills located near the border with Argentina.

Around 11: 45 p.m., two unidentified men on a motorcycle pulled alongside Roa’s moving car on a rural road between the cities of Mayor Otaño and Encarnación, the journalist told CPJ. He said he believed the passenger fired two gunshots before the motorcycle sped away. One of the bullets shattered the front window of the car, which bears the newspaper’s logo. The other was not found, Roa said.

Roa said he reported a series of investigative stories in October that detailed drug trafficking in southern Paraguay. He said the gunmen may have been seeking to dissuade him from doing any follow-up stories.

Roa said he reported the shooting to local police. The local prosecutor, he said, has opened an investigation.