Legislators stress importance of free press in honoring La Penca victims

Thirty years ago today a bomb went off during a press conference at La Penca in Nicaragua right by the Costa Rican border. The attack aimed at Contra leader Edén Pastore killed seven people, three of whom were news people. It is one of only two known terrorist attacks in history that happened at a press conference.

Thursday lawmakers from Partido Liberación Nacional met with Nelson Murillo, a survivor from the bombing, and Colegio de Periodistas President Marlon Mora.

The Asamblea Legislativa members came together to pay homage to the victims and their families, as well as harp on the importance of a sustained freedom of press in the country.

Rafael Ortiz Fabrega called it a tragic event that Costa Ricans should remember the dark day so that hopefully no one else from the peaceful country suffers from terrorism.

“Some journalists say that ‘A journalist never forgets,’” he said. “Today I would like to say that Costa Ricans must never forget what happened at La Penca.“It remains a black mark on this country’s history.”

Ronny Monge, another Liberación representative, said he still remembers when he was an 18-year-old kid watching soccer with his family when news of the attack came over the television. He said he was forever impacted by those images, but they remind him how important a free press is for Costa Rica.

“Thank God that reporters can continue asking questions in this country,” Monge said.

Murillo also praised the country’s continued support of its reporters, but added that the fight for journalism needs to continue. He shared that 30 years later he still feels a pain the bombing left behind.

“Having suffered through the attack at La Penca is a living hell,” Murillo said.

He and other survivors have campaigned for an international court case to go through the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights since 2005.

A Tuesday story is HERE!

Lawmakers pause during Thursday's legislative session for a moment of silence to remember the La Penca bombing.

Lawmakers pause during Thursday’s legislative session for a moment of silence to remember the La Penca bombing.

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