ASUNCION (Reuters) – A journalist was murdered on Paraguay’s violent border with Brazil on Tuesday, the latest episode of violence in a region increasingly besieged by drug trafficking and gang disputes.
Journalist Humberto Coronel was shot in front of the radio station where he worked in the city of Pedro Juan Caballero, Paraguay, the region’s police chief, Ruben Paredes said, less than three months after Coronel said he and his colleague had received death threats.
Located on Paraguay’s border with Brazil, Pedro Juan Caballero is considered the most violent city in a country that has become an attractive operation base for Brazilian gangs, including the Sao Paulo-based PCC and Rio de Janeiro’s Red Command.
Coronel worked for Amambay, a station owned by the family of the town’s late mayor Jose Carlos Acevedo, a vocal critic of the town’s security forces who was shot and killed in front of his office in late May.
Authorities said Coronel was shot from behind by a killer dressed in black and traveling on a motorcycle. A police officer found 10 casings for a 9mm caliber pistol at the scene.
“We are in the early part of the investigation … it was a single person in black, with a helmet,” Paredes told reporters, adding that the police guarding the radio station area were unable to pursue the attacker because they were on foot.
(Reporting by Daniela Desantis; Editing by Brendan O’Boyle and Sandra Maler)