Peruvian radio show host Hernán David Choquepata Ordoñez died on November 20, 2016, after unidentified assailants broke into the station where he worked in the southern city of Camaná and beat and shot him while he was on the air, according to news reports.
Choquepata, 45, was the host of a Sunday political talk show “Hablan los pueblos” (Community Talk) on La Ribereña radio station in Camaná, a Pacific coast town of about 13,000 people in southern Arequipa state.
His wife Blanca Flor Arapa was on the second floor of the station building when she heard a commotion in the first-floor studio, where she found Choquepata bleeding from the head, unconscious, and slumped in a chair, according to news reports. He died on the way to the hospital.
Prosecutors said they were looking into two possible motives: his journalism or a crime of passion, according to a report from the daily newspaper La República. On December 9, the local media reported that police had arrested an 18-year-old suspect, without elaborating.
The Arequipa weekly paper El Bújo reported that after he was struck on the head, Choquepata tried to defend himself, prompting the attackers to shoot him in the head. According to the paper, they destroyed most of the studio equipment before fleeing. A video posted on Choquepata’s Facebook page showed blood stains on the computers and consoles of the radio studio.
El Bújo described Choquepata as a fierce critic of government corruption, especially regarding public-works projects in the town. He also allowed program listeners to call in and vent their frustrations about town officials on the air. In the Facebook video, a work colleague, Golfer Rivas, said that Choquepata had received numerous threats for his reporting.
In a statement, the National Association of Peruvian Journalists said that the perpetrators did not steal equipment or Choquepata’s personal belongings, and urged investigators to consider the crime as related to his work as a journalist.