Bolivian media workers demand life insurance after violent death of journalist

In response to the violent death of journalist David Niño de Guzmán, which has still not been ruled a homicide or suicide, Bolivian media workers have called for better working conditions and life insurance, AFP reports.

The journalist’s body was found Thursday, April 21 in La Paz with a stomach wound caused by dynamite. Bolivian journalism unions said that while life insurance will not prevent journalists’ deaths, it gives financial support for their families.

Journalists need life insurance, this is a risky profession,” said Boris Quisberth, the director of the La Paz Press Workers’ Federation (FTPP). “Life insurance has been a longstanding desire of Bolivian journalists,” echoed the president of the La Paz Journalists’ Association, Pedro Glasinovic.

In response, Bolivia’s communications minister, Iván Canelas, said the government is looking to see if they can issue decrees to “support press workers with new benefits,” Opinión reports.

According to Canelas, the ministry is looking into fixing the low salaries, 10-12 hour work days, the lack of health and life insurance, arbitrary layoffs, and mistreatment by employers that Bolivian journalist’s face, Erbol explains.

On Wednesday April 27, the FTPP organized a march to pressure for a thorough investigation into Niño de Guzmán’s death and life insurance for press workers, Los Tiempos adds.

In 2008, radio host Carlos Quispe was killed by anti-government protesters and journalist Carlos Colque was killed by a mob of miners and peasants.

Note from the editor: This story was originally published by the Knight Center’s blog Journalism in the Americas, the predecessor of LatAm Journalism Review.