Adams Ismael Ledesma, a Bolivian social worker and journalist who ran Mundo TV Villa, a newly-created cable TV service for immigrant workers in a Buenos Aires shantytown, was stabbed to death in the early hours of 4 September. The motive is not yet known.
Aged 41 and the father of six children, Ledesma was attacked and killed when he left his home to check electrical installations at a neighbour’s home. His body was found by his wife, Ruth Marlene Torrico Sandoval, who was warned by unidentified individuals that “the same could happen to you.”
Reporters Without Borders offers its condolences to the Ledesma family and hopes the police quickly identify the motive for the murder and those responsible. The investigators should take account of the fact that threats were made against the victim’s family. Journalists are rarely killed in connection with their work in Argentina but this possibility should not be ruled out.
Ledesma had worked for several years as a journalist and social worker for Mundo Villa, a community network serving Bolivian, Paraguayan and Peruvian immigrant workers in Buenos Aires. It has a daily newspaper, Mundo Villa, focusing on cultural and social issues, which is distributed free of charge and has a correspondent in each immigrant neighbourhood.
Ledesma was one of the newspaper’s neighbourhood correspondents as well being the director of the newly created TV station. The network is also in the process of creating a website.
The Buenos Aires daily Página 12 quoted Mundo Villa editor Teodoro Pancho Benavídez as saying the creation of these media had helped improve conditions for immigrant workers in these shantytowns (“villas de emergencia”) and had helped elicit a positive response from the local authorities as regards the conditions there.