Byron Baldeón

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Baldeón, 31, a freelance photographer, was shot by two gunmen on a motorcycle in front of his home in El Triunfo, about 60 kilometers (100 miles) north of the city of Guayaquil. The coroner who performed the autopsy told reporters he counted 17 bullet wounds.

Baldeón was a witness in a criminal case involving alleged police corruption, according to news reports. In May, the journalist had photographed an empty container truck abandoned in El Triunfo from which 400 televisions had been stolen. His images were published by the Guayaquil daily Extra, Peter Aguirre, editor for the newspaper, told CPJ. Aguirre said the truck photos were the only images by Baldeón that Extra had published.

Baldeón had been subpoenaed by prosecutors and had twice testified in the case, according to news reports. Five men, including three active-duty police officers, were arrested for the theft shortly afterward.

Two days after the crime, José Serrano, minister of the interior, told reporters that a special group of national police officers would be formed to investigate the murder.

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