Police officers are seen in Guayaquil, Ecuador, on March 19, 2020. Journalist Marilú Capa was recently shot and injured in Nueva Loja. (Reuters/Santiago Arcos)

Journalist Marilú Capa shot, severely injured in Ecuador

Bogotá, January 25, 2021 – Ecuadorian authorities should swiftly and thoroughly investigate the shooting of radio journalist Marilú Capa and hold those responsible to account, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today.

At about 8 a.m. on January 19, in the northeastern town of Nueva Loja, an unidentified man entered a restaurant that Capa owns and shot her six times with a pistol, according to news reports, the Quito-based press freedom organization Fundamedios, and Lt. Col. Daniel Guevara, a spokesperson for the investigative police unit in Nueva Loja, who commented on the attack in a press conference that was shared on Twitter.

The attacker then fled the scene on a motorcycle driven by a second unidentified man, Guevara said.

Paúl Zamora, a researcher for Fundamedios, told CPJ via messaging app today that Capa is in critical condition at a Nueva Loja hospital.

Zamora said the attacker did not steal anything and that it was unclear whether the shooting was related to Capa’s work as a journalist.

“Ecuadorian authorities must do everything in their power to conduct a credible investigation into the attack on journalist Marilú Capa and determine whether she was targeted for her work,” said CPJ South and Central America Program Coordinator Natalie Southwick, in New York. “Authorities should ensure that those responsible are held to account, and that all crimes against journalists are thoroughly investigated.”

Capa hosts a daily two-hour radio program on the broadcaster Radio Sucumbios, “Mañanas Interactivas,” which features commentary on human rights, migration, and other news, and also plays music, according to Radio Sucumbios program director Nazario Silva, who spoke to the El Comercio newspaper.

She also co-produces a weekly program on Radio Sucumbios on women’s health issues and violence against women, and previously worked full-time as a news director at the station, Silva said.

CPJ called Silva, the judicial police unit in Nueva Loja, and the hospital where Capa was admitted, but no one answered.