Gerardo Ortega

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Reports   |   Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Brazil, Colombia, India, Iraq, Mexico, Nigeria, Pakistan, Philippines, Russia, Somalia, South Sudan, Sri Lanka, Syria

Getting Away With Murder

CPJ's 2015 Global Impunity Index spotlights countries where journalists are slain and the killers go free

Published October 8, 2015

The ambush of a convoy in South Sudan and the hacking deaths of bloggers in Bangladesh this year propelled the two nations onto CPJ's Global Impunity Index, which spotlights countries where journalists are murdered and their killers go unpunished. Colombia exited the index as fatal violence against journalists receded further into that country's past.

For the first time since CPJ began compiling the index in 2008, Iraq did not claim the title of worst offender, as Somalia edged into that spot. The shift reflects a steady death toll in Somalia, where one or more journalists have been murdered every year over the past decade, and the government has proved unable or unwilling to investigate the attacks.

Reports   |   Afghanistan, Colombia, India, Iraq, Mexico, Pakistan, Philippines, Russia, Somalia, Sri Lanka

The Road to Justice

3. Where Impunity Thrives

A climate of impunity reached a tragic culmination on November 23, 2009, when gunmen ambushed a caravan escorting political candidate Esmael “Toto” Mangudadatu as he prepared to file papers to become a candidate for provincial governor in the Philippines. The attackers slaughtered 58 people, among them 30 journalists and two media workers, the largest toll of journalists murdered in a single act since CPJ began keeping track in 1992.

Reports   |   Iraq, Philippines, Russia, Turkey

The Road to Justice

Slideshow: Seeking the Masterminds

CPJ research shows that in 88 percent of cases of journalist slayings around the world, the masterminds behind the murders face no consequences, even when their accomplices are apprehended.

Reports   |   Afghanistan, Brazil, Colombia, India, Iraq, Mexico, Nigeria, Pakistan, Philippines, Russia, Somalia, Sri Lanka, Syria

Getting Away With Murder

CPJ’s 2014 Global Impunity Index spotlights countries where journalists are slain and the killers go free


Unsolved Murders: 100

Population: 32.6 million

Rank: 1


Unsolved Murders: 26

Population: 10.2 million

Rank: 2

The Philippines

Unsolved Murders: 51

Population: 96.7 million

Rank: 3

Sri Lanka

Unsolved Murders: 9

Population: 20.3 million

Rank: 4


Unsolved Murders: 7

Population: 22.4 million

Rank: 5


Unsolved Murders: 5

Population: 29.8 million

Rank: 6


Unsolved Murders: 16

Population: 120.8 million

Rank: 7


Unsolved Murders: 6

Population: 47.7 million

Rank: 8


Unsolved Murders: 22

Population: 179.2 million

Rank: 9


Unsolved Murders: 14

Population: 143.5 million

Rank: 10


Unsolved Murders: 9

Population: 198.7 million

Rank: 11


Unsolved Murders: 5

Population: 168.8 million

Rank: 12


Unsolved Murders: 7

Population: 1,237 million

Rank: 13

Alerts   |   Philippines

Gunman sentenced, masterminds free in Ortega slaying

Ortega family

New York, May 8, 2013--A man who said he was paid the equivalent of US$250 to kill Philippine radio journalist Gerardo Ortega, left, has been sentenced to life imprisonment for the 2011 murder, according to news reports and the victim's family. The Committee to Protect Journalists today joined with Ortega family in calling for the arrests of the suspected masterminds.

May 8, 2013 4:49 PM ET


Blog   |   Brazil, India, Pakistan, Philippines, Somalia

In Index, a pattern of death, a roadmap for solutions

Activists protest impunity in journalist murders in the Philippines. (AFP/Noel Celis)

Gerardo Ortega's news and talk show on DWAR in Puerto Princesa, Philippines, went off as usual on the morning of January 24, 2011. Ortega, like many radio journalists in the Philippines, was outspoken about government corruption, particularly as it concerned local mining issues. His show over, Ortega left the studios and headed to a local clothing store to do some shopping. There, he was shot in the back of the head. His murder underlines the characteristics and security challenges common to many of the killings documented as part of CPJ's new Impunity Index: A well-known local journalist whose daily routines were easily tracked, Ortega had been followed and killed by a hired gunman. He had been threatened many times before in response to his tough political commentary, a pattern that shows up time and again on CPJ's Impunity Index.

Blog   |   Philippines

In Philippines, questions on witness death in Ortega case

Questions surrounding the death of Dennis Aranas, accomplice-turned-witness to the murder of Filipino journalist Gerardo Ortega, have increased over the past week. Their answers beg yet another question: will the masterminds behind Ortega's murder succeed in eluding justice?  

February 13, 2013 2:32 PM ET


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