Journalists Killed  |  Guatemala

Carlos Alberto Orellana Chávez

Canal Óptimo 23

August 19, 2013, in Suchitepéquez, Guatemala

Orellana's body was found in the southwestern department of Suchitepéquez with a bullet wound in his head, according to news reports. Unidentified assailants had abducted him from his car hours earlier after he had left his home. Authorities said they found Orellana's vehicle with all of his belongings and that the attack did not appear to be a robbery.

Orellana hosted two news programs on the local cable station Canal Óptimo 23, where he had denounced local corruption, and had previously worked for more than two decades at Radio Indiana de Mazatenango and at Radio La Venadita del Cuadrante, according to news reports.

Orellana had also served as mayor of the municipality of Mazatenango from 2000 to 2004.

Elmer Yat, chief prosecutor for crimes against journalists, told reporters that he would be investigating Orellana's journalism as a possible motive. Interior Minister Mauricio López Bonilla said the crime did not appear to be related to Orellana's journalistic work, but offered no further details, according to news reports.

Friends of the journalist told local reporters that in the days before his murder, Orellana had broadcast critical reports about human trafficking, water contamination, local government corruption, and death threats that his granddaughter had received, according to news reports.


Motive Unconfirmed: CPJ is investigating to determine whether the death was work-related.


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