Radio journalist shot and killed in Paraguay

By Alejandro Martínez

Paraguayan journalist Fausto Gabriel Alcaraz was shot and killed on Friday May 16 in the city of Pedro Juan Caballero, on the border with Brazil, several local media outlets reported.

Alcaraz, 28, was the host of the radio morning show “De Frente a la Mañana” in station Radio Amambay 570 AM. He was driving home after his daily broadcast when, fifteen minutes later, he was attacked by two armed individuals traveling on a motorcycle. They shot Alcaraz 11 times at point blank.

Media accounts have not reported on possible motives identified by authorities, but according to newspaper Última Hora, Alcaraz's colleagues have said the crime could have been in retaliation to his coverage of drug trafficking near the Brazilian border. Newspaper La Nación said the journalist hadn't received any threats, but Senator Robert Acevedo, owner of Radio Amambay, called the crime a message from criminal groups.

Alcaraz would sometimes name individuals allegedly involved with criminal activities in the region, Entorno Inteligente reported.

Reporters Without Borders called for a thorough investigation that takes into consideration Alcaraz's work as a journalist as a possible motive.

“It is vital that this murder should not go unpunished, as is so often the case in Paraguay,” said Camille Soulier, the head of RSF's Americas desk. "The situation of the people who worked with Alcaraz is also very worrying right now. We urge the authorities to give them protection.”

Alcazar lived with his parents and was finishing his law degree, Última Hora reported.

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.