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Journalists Killed in 1995 - Motive Confirmed: Juan Carlos Vásquez

Publisher Committee to Protect Journalists
Publication Date January 1996
Cite as Committee to Protect Journalists, Journalists Killed in 1995 - Motive Confirmed: Juan Carlos Vásquez, January 1996, available at: [accessed 13 December 2017]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.

Ultima Hora
July 2, 1995, in an area near Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

Vásquez, a sports reporter with the afternoon daily Ultima Hora, was shot and killed by an off-duty police officer after a dispute over a hit-and-run accident. Vásquez, Ultima Hora photographer Victor Abreu Peña, and a cameraman were returning from Santo Domingo where they had covered a jet-ski competition when their jeep collided with a public minibus. According to witnesses, the three journalists then followed the minibus, which had driven away from the scene of the accident. When the minibus finally stopped, Vásquez began talking with the bus driver and a man got off, identified himself as a police officer, and drew his gun.

After Vásquez allegedly asked the officer to explain why the accident occurred and told the cameraman to film him wielding his gun, the officer shot Vásquez twice without warning. He also shot and wounded Peña, who was trying to help the fallen Vásquez. The officer then tried to shoot the cameraman who was filming the exchange. The three journalists had been traveling in a jeep belonging to a television station, and the vehicle was clearly marked with the station's logo. The officer, who was subsequently dismissed from his job, was arrested and at year's end was in prison awaiting trial on charges of murder.

Job:Print Reporter
Beats Covered:Culture, Sports
Local or Foreign:Local
Type of Death:Murder
Suspected Source of Fire:Military Officials
Taken Captive:No


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