Prensa africana: desaparecida en acción

En gran parte de África, el desafío para los periodistas, editores y lectores va más allá de la libertad de prensa, e incluye su misma supervivencia. Por ejemplo, durante las distintas dictaduras de Nigeria muchos periodistas tuvieron que soportar un rito de iniciación que la mayoría prefiere olvidar: acosos constantes, golpizas, torturas, estratagemas para acusarlos por cargos falsos y sentencias de cárcel absurdamente largas.

Entre las numerosas víctimas, quizás el caso más chocante sea el de un joven periodista llamado Bagauda Kaltho. Su cuerpo fue encontrado en el baño de un hotel en la ciudad de Kaduna, junto a los restos de un paquete bomba tras una explosión que nadie escuchó. Sin embargo, ahí yacía, y con él un ejemplar de mi libro El hombre muerto.

La implicancia, promovida por el régimen, era que Kaltho era un recluta mío que voló en pedazos al tratar de preparar su próxima bomba en una campaña terrorista contra la dictadura de Sanni Abacha. Esta inconcebible maniobra quedó al descubierto sólo después de la muerte de Abacha, con la seguidilla de confesiones posteriores por parte de los agentes de policía que en realidad cometieron el crimen.

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