Colombian authorities arrest man in journalist slaying

Jul 14--Colombian police have arrested a man believed to have gunned down veteran radio journalist José Everardo Aguilar in retaliation for his reporting on corruption in southwestern Cauca province. The Committee to Protect Journalists welcomes the arrest and urges authorities to bring the masterminds to justice.

14 de julio de 2009

On Friday, the Colombian National Police arrested Arley Manquillo Rivera, also known as "El Huracán," at a routine checkpoint outside the provincial capital, Popayán, according to an official police statement. Authorities believe Manquillo, who has alleged ties to the local drug trafficking gang Los Rastrojos, was hired to kill Aguilar, a police spokesman told CPJ. Police arrested Manquillo based on witness descriptions of the assailant, the spokesman said.

Manquillo denied involvement in the killing, local journalists told CPJ.

Aguilar worked as a correspondent in the southern city of Patía for the Popayán-based Radio Súper. According to police sources, investigators are looking into Aguilar's reporting on local and provincial government corruption as a possible motive for his murder. The journalist's son, Martín, and colleagues at Radio Súper told CPJ they believe Aguilar was targeted for his work.
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