In the evening of October 29, 2020, unidentified assailants shot and killed Arturo Alba, host of the daily television news show “Telediario,” in Ciudad Juárez, in the northern Mexican state of Chihuahua, according to news reports and a statement from the municipal public security secretariat, which CPJ reviewed.
The journalist’s body was found shortly before 10 p.m. inside the car he was driving; he had been shot at least 10 times and died instantly, according to those reports.
Chihuahua Governor Javier Corral said in a statement that his government would use “all the necessary resources” to investigate the case.
“Telediario” is aired by privately owned broadcaster Multimedios Televisión, according to Raymundo Chagoyán, the broadcaster’s news director, who spoke with CPJ in a phone interview.
“We are all very shocked. [Alba] hadn’t told us anything that may have constituted a threat. He had been cheerful, nothing out of the ordinary,” Chagoyán told CPJ. He said that Alba covered local news in Juárez and the state of Chihuahua, and described his program as “light,” but said that Alba did sometimes cover issues of crime and security.
According to local news website La Verdad, Alba had recently covered the police killing of a young woman in Chihuahua, confrontations between alleged gang members and police, and alleged police corruption. CPJ was unable to review Alba’s latest broadcasts, which are not available online, and Chagoyán said he was unaware of what Alba had recently covered.
Chagoyán said that Alba also worked as a spokesperson for the Technological Institute of Ciudad Juárez, a local university, and had previously worked as a reporter for Canal 44 in Ciudad Juárez and Univisión in the neighboring U.S. city of El Paso, where he also lived. CPJ called the Technological Institute of Ciudad Juárez for comment but no one answered.
On November 13, 2020, Chihuahua Governor Javier Corral announced in a press conference that state authorities had apprehended five alleged members of a Ciudad Juárez drug trafficking gang as part of a drug investigation.
Two of the suspects, an 18-year old identified as Adrian Alexis M.V. and a 24-year old identified as Carlos Iván B.S., confessed to having been involved in Alba’s killing, Corral said. Corral added that Alba had been killed by mistake, and the suspects had confused his vehicle with someone else’s.
No further details were provided by authorities regarding the motive of the attack or the specific alleged roles of those two suspects.
CPJ messaged the Chihuahua state prosecutor’s office for comment, but did not receive any response.