January 25, 1997, in Pinamar, ArgentinaCabezas, a photographer for the news magazine Noticias, was found dead on January 25, handcuffed and charred, inside a burned rental car outside of Pinamar, a beach resort where Cabezas was working on a story. He was one of the first photojournalists to take a picture of Alfredo Yabrán, a well-known and reclusive tycoon described by a prominent politician as head of the Argentine mafia.
Cabezas' murder evoked memories of brutal killings in Argentina's "dirty war" of the 1980s and outraged journalists, who took to the streets in protest and pressured the government for a thorough investigation. The Justice Minister was forced to resign after it became known that he had received phone calls from Yabrán. Numerous arrests have been made in connection with the murder, including current and former police officers and Yabrán's security chief. Journalists covering the investigation have been threatened.
On February 2, 2000, the Dolores appellate court passed life sentences on eight men convicted of participating in the the killing. The court found that the murder had been masterminded by Yabrán, who committed suicide in 1998.
Beats Covered: Crime
Local or Foreign: Local
Type of Death: Murder
Suspected Source of Fire: Criminal Group
Taken Captive: Yes
- 1,000 deaths: Journalists who gave their lives, August 15, 2013
- Cabezas' convicted killers are free, 15 years after murder, January 31, 2012
- In Argentina, CPJ shocked by release, October 28, 2008
- Attacks on the Press 2006: Argentina, February 5, 2007
- Deadly News, September 20, 2006