Inter-American Court ruling condemns the 1994 forced disappearance of Dominican Republic journalist

The Inter-American Court of Human Rights has ruled that the Dominican Republic violated the human rights of journalist Narciso González Medina, who was the victim of a forced disappearance on May 26, 1994, and whose whereabouts are still unknown to this date, reported the news agency EFE. The ruling ordered the Dominican Republic to investigate what happened and punish those responsible, initiate a search for the journalist, produce a documentary about his life, and pay a compensation to his family, according to a statement of the court on Monday, April 2.

The Inter American Press Association (IAPA) welcomed the ruling, calling it a "This ruling is a decisive step forward in the search for justice for the hundreds of unpunished crimes against journalists in the Western Hemisphere,” Gustavo Mohme, chair of IAPA’s Committee on Freedom of the Press and Information, in a statement. IAPA has recorded 21 cases of missing journalists in the region.

When consulted about the case in 2011 by the Inter-American Court at a public hearing, former president of IAPA Rafael Molina, director of the Dominican newspaper El Día, stated in writing that the disappearance of the journalist was a type of reprisal for publicly questioning the results of the elections celebrated on May 16, 1994, reported El Nuevo Diario.

The night before his disappearance, the journalist delivered a speech against former president Balaguer, after making a call for civil disobedience during an assembly at the Autonomous University of Santo Domingo, where he was a professor, reported EFE.

Meanwhile, on Tuesday, April 3, the Dominican government rejected the Inter-American Court's ruling, saying it damages foreign investment in the country, reported the newspaper Hoy.