Last Updated: Friday, 15 December 2017, 16:28 GMT

Journalists Killed in 2001 - Motive Confirmed: Jorge Mynor Alegría Armendáriz

Publisher Committee to Protect Journalists
Publication Date January 2002
Cite as Committee to Protect Journalists, Journalists Killed in 2001 - Motive Confirmed: Jorge Mynor Alegría Armendáriz, January 2002, available at: [accessed 17 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.

Radio Amatique
September 5, 2001, in Puerto Barrios, Guatemala

Alegría, host of a call-in show "Línea Directa," was shot at least five times outside his home in Puerto Barrios, a port city located on the Caribbean coast in Izabal Department.

Alegría, who also worked as a part-time correspondent for the national radio network Emisoras Unidas, had reportedly been threatened on three different occasions after broadcasting stories about corruption. In addition, one of his colleagues told the press that local officials had tried to bribe Alegría to keep him quiet about their activities.

Police detained two suspects in connection with Alegría's murder. One suspect had a 9 mm handgun whose bullets apparently matched those found at the crime scene. Preliminary investigations by the Puerto Barrios prosecutor's office revealed that the handgun had recently fired six shots.

CPJ published a news alert about the murder on September 18.

On September 20, the Ombudsman's Office for Human Rights (PDH) released the results of its investigations. The report concluded that Alegría's murder was politically motivated and was probably masterminded by local officials in retaliation for the journalist's coverage of corruption in Puerto Barrios. The PDH added that the two suspects in police custody were scapegoats. A report with the PDH's findings was sent to the newly created Prosecutor's Office for Crimes against Journalists.

In early October, the two suspects were released after ballistics test proved that the confiscated handgun was not the murder weapon.

At year's end, the Puerto Barrios prosecutor's office and police were investigating Alegría's murder as either a crime of passion, a politically motivated crime, or a common crime. However, they have not offered any evidence to support their theories. According to the news agency CERIGUA, a local prosecutor declared that a political motivation could neither be ruled out nor confirmed.

Job:Broadcast Reporter
Beats Covered:Corruption
Local or Foreign:Local
Type of Death:Murder
Suspected Source of Fire:Government Officials
Taken Captive:No


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