Byron Baldeón

Beats Covered:
Local or Foreign:

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
. 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.