Originally: Haiti/Caribbean: Media body condemns murder of Haitian journalist

Port of Spain, Trinidad: The Association of Caribbean Media Workers (ACM) on July 14, 2005 expressed “shock and horror” at the killing of Haitian journalist and television host, Jacques Roche.

Roche was abducted last weekend as he was driving in the Nazon district of Port-au-Prince and his unidentified abductors had demanded a 250,000 US dollar ransom from his family.

On Wednesday, the international journalist group, “Reporters without Borders” said that the security situation in Haiti “is deteriorating at an alarming rate and while Roche’s abduction seems to have no direct link to the fact that he is a journalist, the press is one of the sectors most at risk in this climate of terror and violence”.

It had also appealed to his kidnappers to “release him immediately without conditions”.

The ACM said that the body of Roche, who had been the editor of the daily newspaper Le Matin’s arts and culture section, had been found in Delmas 2 despite attempts by his family to secure his release.

“Mr Roche’s abduction follows a deterioration in the security situation in Haiti which last June 16 forced journalist, Nancy Roc, to flee the country following kidnap threats.

“We note, as well, the failed kidnap attempt on Radio Metropole director Richard Widmaier on June 11 and reports of an increase in abductions in the city of Port-au-Prince,” ACM said in a statement.

It called on the “responsible authorities to conduct an extensive investigation into the murder of Jacques Roche and for the perpetrators of this crime to be brought to justice in the soonest possible time”.

“We urge that accompanying investigations include specific reference to threats to the safety of Haitian journalists and also call on the international community to condemn such attacks in the strongest possible manner,” the ACM said.