New York, March 19, 2008—Argentine television journalist Juan Carlos Zambrano was shot to death this morning in the northern province of Jujuy. The Committee to Protect Journalists is investigating possible links between Zambrano’s death and his work.
Two unidentified men approached Zambrano, host of the daily news and the weekly opinion program “Con la Gente” (With the People) on local television station Canal 7, outside his home in the provincial capital of San Salvador de Jujuy around 2:30 a.m. today, according to reports in the Argentine press and CPJ interviews. The assailants shot him at close range on the chest at least once, his colleague Javier Angel Díaz told CPJ. The journalist was pronounced dead at the scene, local press reports said.
“We offer our deepest condolences to Juan Carlos Zambrano’s family and colleagues,” CPJ Executive Director Joel Simon said. “We will be tracking the investigation carefully.”
Jujuy police arrested an unidentified man two hours after the shooting, according to local news reports. Authorities reportedly believe Zambrano’s death was a crime of passion.
However, Díaz told CPJ that Zambrano had received repeated threats to his cell phone and to Canal 7 offices over the last year. The callers told the reporter to “shut up or die,” he said. Zambrano’s colleague said he believes the journalist was killed because of his reporting on local government corruption.