Prisoner claims Peruvian photojournalist was killed for investigating ties between politician, drug trafficking

By Alejandro Martínez

A prisoner in Peru recently said that the assassins of photographer Luis Choy confessed to him that the motive of the crime was Choy's investigation into the alleged connections between a politician and drug trafficking.

Carlos Timaná, a former gang member currently in prison, stated in a letter revealed by TV show Punto Final that Lindomar Hernández Jiménez, alias “Puerto Rico”, and Édgar Lucano Rojas – both of whom were imprisoned in the same penitentiary as Timaná and were involved in Choy's murder – had told him that the killing was due to Choy's investigations.

“It was not over a truck or a woman, but for his work as a journalist," Timaná wrote in the letter. "The public should know that the main motive for Choy's murder was an investigation he was doing about the illicit trafficking of drugs for someone with a lot of influence."

Timaná did not say who was the politician supposedly involved with the crime.

Choy, a journalist for the daily El Comercio, was killed last Feb. 23 after receiving three gunshots at his front door. Two weeks later, authorities captured Hernández Jiménez and named him the mastermind behind the crime.

Hernández Jiménez and Lucano Rojas escaped prison on June 12 along with Timaná and another fugitive; however, the two men were located after six days on the run and killed by gunfire during a police operation. Timaná was wounded and recaptured.

According to Timaná's letter, Hernández Jiménez and Lucano Rojas "understood after a few months in jail that they had committed the worst mistake of their lives."

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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