11 gang members sentenced for killing photojournalist in El Salvador

  • By
  • March 10, 2011

By Ingrid Bachmann

A special court in San Salvador sentenced 11 of the 31 suspects charged in the 2009 killing of a photographer to between four and 30 years in prison, reported EFE and La Prensa Gráfica.

All of those convicted belong to the country's violent gangs, which believed photographer and documentarian Christian Poveda was a police informant. Poveda had been filming "La Vida Loca," a documentary about Salvadoran gangs when he was killed while visiting a gang-controlled area to conduct interviews with gang members for a European magazine.

“Although the court only sentenced 11 defendants, the rest of the 31 are serving time for other crimes,” according to a statement from the court published by news agency AFP.

Reporters Without Borders (RSF) celebrated the verdict, but criticized the speed of the trial. In a statement, RSF said that although the crime has been solved, two days of trial -- the first behind closed doors -- are not sufficient for a murder case.

Note from the editor: This story was originally published by the Knight Center’s blog Journalism in the Americas, the predecessor of LatAm Journalism Review.