Jiménez, a television reporter until just months before her murder, was dropping off her son at school when a gunman shot her three times in the head and then fled on a motorcycle driven by an accomplice. According to the Attorney General’s Office, she was killed by members of a paramilitary death squad in retaliation for a story she broadcast in 1996.
Her report concerned the estate of a former government official, Carlos Arturo Marulanda, where paramilitary forces were terrorizing peasants. While she was returning from reporting the story, a group of armed men confiscated her tapes, and upon her return home she began to receive frequent death threats. When, in early 1998, the government did not renew the broadcast license of “QAP,” the news program where Jiménez worked, she reported for “En Vivo,” broadcast in Valledupar on Canal A.
Later that year, she began full-time work for a government program to reintegrate former guerrillas into Colombian society. She also participated in Redepaz, a national peace advocacy group. In August, Colombian authorities detained Libardo Humberto Prada and charged him with her murder. An arrest warrant was issued for Maralanda in connection with the murder of several peasants who were living on his property. Maralanda’s brother, Francisco Alberto, was arrested on the same charges in May.