DECEMBER 20, 2006
Posted: December 27, 2006
Eduardo Manrique, Diario de Cuyo
Unidentified individuals broke into Manrique’s home in the northwestern city of San Juan early in the morning of December 20 and set the journalist’s car on fire, reported Diario de Cuyo, for which Manrique directs the police section.
Manrique’s wife woke up at 4:30 a.m. and found the family’s car on fire. The journalist and his son put the flames out and warned local authorities. According to Diario de Cuyo, the assailants broke a lock outside Manrique’s gated home in order to gain access to the yard where the car was usually parked. The journalist found three plastic bottles filled with gasoline under the vehicle.
Manrique told Diario de Cuyo that he has no doubt the attack was in retaliation for his reporting. Jorge Puga, the daily’s editorial director, told CPJ that Manrique covers all police investigations in the San Juan area. This year, he has given particular coverage to a series of stories on violent feuds at the heart of a local business mafia. According to Puga, Manrique does not know what specific article could have triggered the attack.
Puga told CPJ that Manrique received several threatening calls at his office this year. On various occasions, unidentified individuals asked for Manrique’s address at the paper’s offices, said Puga.
Local authorities consider the case arson, according to Diario de Cuyo. Puga told CPJ local police are conducting an investigation.