Journalists Killed  |  Paraguay

Salvador Medina Velázquez

FM Ñemity

January 5, 2001, in Capiibary, Paraguay

Medina, 27, president of the board of community radio station FM Ñemity in the town of Capiibary in the San Pedro Department, about 250 km (150 miles) from Asunción, was ambushed and shot by an unidentified gunman.

The journalist was driving a motorcycle with his brother Gaspar when a masked attacker came out from behind some bushes and shot him in the left side at point-blank range. The attacker then fled into the bush, according to local press reports. Medina lost control of his motorcycle, fell to the ground, and died immediately.

The journalist's family linked the attack to his reports on timber smuggling in state-owned forest reservations in Capiibary, local sources told CPJ. In particular, Medina had singled out a gang of alleged smugglers with ties to the National Republican Association (ARN), also known as the Colorado Party.

One of those whom Medina had accused was arrested in March for timber smuggling. In addition, Medina had covered incidents of livestock theft, along with organized crime in a nearby town.

In January and February, the Paraguayan police arrested four men suspected of killing Medina, but at least four other suspects were still at large.

In a hearing on September 6, Public Prosecutor Ramón Trinidad Zelaya charged Milcíades Maylin, one of the four suspects in police custody, with Medina's murder. Judge Silvio Flores granted Trinidad's request that the charges against the three other suspects be dismissed.

On October 16, a three-judge sentencing tribunal found Maylin guilty of murdering Medina and sentenced him to a 25-year prison term. Medina's relatives, however, believe that the individuals who ordered the murder have not been brought to justice.

In a hearing on September 6, Public Prosecutor Ramón Trinidad Zelaya charged Milcíades Maylin, one of the four suspects in police custody, with Medina's murder. Judge Silvio Flores granted Trinidad's request that the charges against the three other suspects be dismissed.

On October 16, a three-judge sentencing tribunal found Maylin guilty of murdering Medina and sentenced him to a 25-year prison term. Medina's relatives, however, believe that the individuals who ordered the murder have not been brought to justice.

Medium: Radio

Job: Producer

Beats Covered: Corruption, Crime

Gender: Male

Local or Foreign: Local

Freelance: No

Type of Death: Murder

Suspected Source of Fire: Criminal Group

Impunity: Partial

Taken Captive: No

Tortured: No

Threatened: No


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