On Friday, the Colombian National Police arrested Arley Manquillo Rivera, also known as "El Huracán," at a routine checkpoint outside the provincial capital, Popayán, according to an official police statement. Authorities believe Manquillo, who has alleged ties to the local drug trafficking gang Los Rastrojos, was hired to kill Aguilar, a police spokesman told CPJ. Police arrested Manquillo based on witness descriptions of the assailant, the spokesman said.
Manquillo denied involvement in the killing, local journalists told CPJ.
Aguilar worked as a correspondent in the southern city of
"We welcome Colombian authorities' speedy investigation into the murder of our colleague José Everardo Aguilar," said CPJ Americas Senior Program Coordinator Carlos Lauría. "Authorities must ensure that all those involved in Aguilar's killing, including the masterminds, are brought to justice."
An individual posing as a delivery man entered Aguilar's Patía home on the evening of April 25, saying he had a package of photos, according to CPJ research. Once inside, the assailant shot Aguilar, 72, three times and fled. Aguilar, who had reported for Radio Súper for 10 years, was known for his harsh criticism of corruption and links between local politicians and right-wing paramilitaries, according to CPJ interviews and local news reports. A 30-year veteran, he had also reported for national Caracol Radio and RCN, Colombian press reports said. Martín Aguilar told CPJ that his father had received death threats two years ago, but he did not know of recent incidents.
Colombian President Álvaro Uribe Vélez had announced a reward for anyone with information on Aguilar's murder, the Colombian press reported.
In a recent report, "Getting
Away with Murder 2009," CPJ found that the rate of journalist murders had
declined slightly in