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Journalist murdered by unidentified individuals

(Fundamedios/IFEX) - On 1 July 2012, Byron Baldeón, a journalist for the Extra newspaper, was murdered by unidentified individuals close to his home in El Triunfo, 61 km from the coastal city of Guayaquil.

In statements made to Teleamazonas, witnesses said Baldeón was intercepted by two unidentified men on a motorbike as he arrived at his home.

According to Extra editor-in-chief Henry Holguín, autopsy results revealed that Baldeón was shot nine times at close range. He also confirmed that the victim had been investigating a hold-up and robbery of a shipping container full of television sets. Three active-duty police officers and two civilians were captured and charged with the crime in May.

"This is a very clear warning that the policy aimed at persecuting the press is achieving its objectives. This is the first journalist murdered in the course of the campaign that, Saturday after Saturday, drops insults, a perverse generalisation of the press as corrupt, and sows the idea that journalists are the enemy and worse, that we should be, quote unquote, punished by public opinion. Now you've seen the punishment, nine shots," said Holguín.

Baldeón, who was 31 years old, was taken to the canton of Yaguachi, where he will be buried in the local cemetery.

Thus far, the police have not issued any official statements regarding the murder. Investigations into the crime continue.
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