Uruguayan journalist threatened after story on prison drug network

After publishing a story on drug dealing in an Uruguayan prison, La República newspaper reporter Víctor Carrato received emailed threats, Montevideo Portal reports.

On June 17, Carrato published a story on a cyanide seizure in the Libertad prison from a criminal group allegedly lead by Luis Alberto “Betito” Suárez Correa from within the jail. The article described the nature of the group’s drug distribution network that includes guards and other prisoners.

The day after the article was printed, Carrato received two emails that warned him to stop investigating: “Great article. And thanks for the tip about the traitor….I am going to make this short…I know where to find you and you’re going to get it; I’m upset with you messing with my things,” said the first message. The second, sent five minutes later, told him to clean up his act “because I’ll find you at your house if I want to.”

According to a June 21 La República story, Carrato has submitted a formal complaint about the threats.

In 2009, Luis Alberto Suárez Correa was one of the first to be sentenced by a special organized crime court, which sent him and much of his family to prison.

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.