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Ricardo Gangeme
Mayo 13, 1999

Ricardo Gangeme, Argentina

Everyone agrees that his death was for revenge over his constant accusations of shady dealings between the Electric Cooperative in Chubut, Argentina and the provincial government. They fired a bullet straight at his head on May 13, 1999, as Ricardo Gangeme arrived at his rented apartment building in the center of Trelew after working until dawn,

A stranger approached his car. The director-owner of the weekly "The Chubutense Informant" rolled down the window to see what the person wanted. Without exchanging a word, the man shot him and fled. He wasn’t interested in stealing the $1,500 and several checks that the 56 year-old journalist was carrying.

After the crime occurred, the IAPA mobilized its Rapid Response Unit to investigate and push for police action, to avoid impunity and to punish the guilty. In several subsequent meetings of the organization, reports and resolutions on freedom of the press included the Gangeme case.

In 2002 the Criminal Court of Northwest Chubut acquitted the three men accused of the murder and for whom the prosecutor had requested life imprisonment. Coincidentally all three had ties to the Electric Cooperative. But the judges ruled that there was conflicting testimony, that the fingerprints from the car did not match the suspects, and that the bullet extracted from the victim’s skull did not match the seized gun. The Chubut press reported during the trial that the bullet in question had been tampered with.

Last May, the Attorney General of Chubut, Jorge Miquelarena, said he was "working on new lines of investigation, with more evidence and testimony, so that the case could be reopened." The crime remains unpunished.

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