Quispe, a journalist working for a government-run radio
station in Pucarani, died March 29 after being severely beaten two days earlier
by protesters demanding the ouster of the local mayor.
On the afternoon of March 27, at least 150 protesters
rallied outside the government building in Pucarani, a small city about 30
miles (50 kilometers) from the capital, La Paz, and called for the ouster of
Mayor Alejandro Mamani. The mayor had been accused of corruption, according to
local press reports and CPJ interviews. The protesters forced their way into
the municipal building and broke down the door to the government-run Radio
Municipal. Witnesses told radio station Onda Local that demonstrators destroyed
station equipment and identified Quispe as “the mouth on the radio.”
Protestors wielding whips and metal rods beat Quispe in the
head and chest, according to an official in the mayor’s office who spoke to CPJ
on condition of anonymity. Quispe, a journalism student at
had worked as an intern at Radio Municipal for three months, was taken to a
clinic in Pucarani and later to a hospital in
press. Quispe died on March 29 from unspecified complications, the Spanish news
service EFE reported.
Radio Municipal, the only radio station in Pucarani,
provided government information and community news, according to Bolivian
journalists. Quispe delivered a daily noontime news report, Juan Javier
Zeballos, executive director of the National Press Association, told CPJ.
Quispe also hosted a nightly music program and often interviewed Mamani, who
talked about government projects and fielded questions from listeners.
Wilson Arteaga, a reporter for Onda Local who traveled to
Pucarani to investigate the incident, told CPJ that Radio Municipal’s
facilities were destroyed. Local police did not return CPJ’s messages seeking