Maas, 58, Cobán correspondent for the Guatemala City-based Radio Punto, was found dead at around 4 a.m. in his parked car near the road that connects central Cobán to Guatemala City.
Maas was shot four times, in the head, left arm, back, and chest, local prosecutor Genaro Pacheco told CPJ. The reporter was on his way to his house after driving a colleague home from a party, his brother Félix Maas Bol told CPJ. Pacheco said the journalist’s wallet and gold jewelry were found intact. Maas reported news from the Alta Verapaz region. Félix Maas told CPJ that his brother had not been threatened.
Maas also worked as a supervisor for the Ministry of Education, as a spokesman for the local journalists union, and as a human rights advocate, according to his brother. Until three months prior to his death, Maas had directed the daily news program “Correo del Norte” on local Radio Mía, which he left after a change in the station’s administration, said Eduardo Fam Chun, the vice president of the local journalists union.
Local authorities detained a suspect in September, according to local press accounts. Hugo Pop, a spokesman for the special prosecutor for human rights, told CPJ that a motive had not been determined, but investigators were looking into Maas’ reporting as a possible reason.