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Cameraman and community leader killed in southeastern Guatemala

A gunman fatally shot Felipe David Munguía Jiménez, a cameraman for Canal 21 and a community leader, in the department of Jalapa in southeastern Guatemala on Sept. 4.

Munguía was leaving a community meeting in the municipality of Santa Maria Xalapán when he was shot in the head and died from his injuries, according to the Center for Informative Reports about Guatemala (Cerigua). However, Prensa Libre reported that Munguía was not leaving a community meeting, but a sporting event.

The organization said Munguía worked for Canal 21 for more than two years and that the station reported on local news, “including conflicts related to electricity.”

Cerigua reported that a family member told investigators he had problems with community members because of his work as a community leader and had even received a death threat on Sept. 3. But others said he had problems with leaders at a Sept. 4 event because of his work as a journalist.

According to Cerigua, someone from the Journalists Association of Jalapa said participants at the event, where the community apparently discussed electricity cuts, were bothered when Munguía took photos.

Cecilia Aguirre, assistant at the Office of Human Rights in Jalapa, said the murder should be investigated to determine whether Munguía’s role as a communicator played a role in the killing, according to Prensa Libre.

A man who recently served eight years in prison for homicide has been arrested as a suspect for the murder, according to EFE.

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.

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