Dominican reporter José Agustín Silvestre for Cana TV was kidnapped and killed Tuesday, Aug. 2, in the city of La Romana, Dominican Republic, local press reported. His body was found near a pond with two gunshot wounds, according to El Día.
Silvestre, 59, is the 20th journalist killed so far in 2011 in Latin America. On Friday, July 29, the Inter American Press Association published a report about the deterioration of press freedom in the region as seen in the murders of 19 other journalists this year.
As the host of the program "The Voice of Truth," Silvestre had made several accusations about corruption and local delinquency. Silvestre served a prison sentence in May 2011 for defamation and slander after accusing the prosecutor of La Romana, José Polanco, of having drug trafficking connections. Hora Cero reported that unidentified gunmen attacked Silvestre's home after accusing Polanco.
Diario Libre reported that last Saturday, Silvestre had presented information on his program about an assault and murder in the city and that since then he had moved because he "was being followed."
Four individuals pulled Silvestre into a vehicle that morning in front of a hotel, Diario Digital reported. Moments later, several witnesses heard gunshots inside the vehicle, according to almomento.net.
Silvestre's sister said he struggled with his captors and fought back, but those around him could do nothing because his attackers "were shooting," according to Hoy.