Badio, a freelance photographer, was gunned down outside his home in the southern Port-au-Prince neighborhood of Martissant, Haitian press freedom advocate Guyler Delva told CPJ. Gang members were suspected in the shooting, said Fred Blaise, a U.N. spokesman.
Badio photographed gang confrontations in Martissant, where he lived with his family, and sold them to local dailies, including the Port-au-Prince newspaper Le Matin. Badio was a member of Delva’s press group, SOS Journalistes, and the Haitian Association of Photojournalists.
Rival gangs had been battling in Martissant for months, The Associated Press reported. According to the Port-au-Prince-based Radio Métropole, the escalating gang violence made Martissant one of the most dangerous neighborhoods in the Haitian capital. Delva said gang members seldom allow journalists to take their pictures for fear of being identified by local authorities. According to colleagues interviewed by CPJ, Badio had received threats from local gang members beginning in October 2006.
Prime Minister Jacques Edouard Alexis said he had authorized U.N. peacekeepers to increase patrols in Martissant. Still, Badio’s wife and children were forced to flee their home after receiving further threats from Martissant’s gangs, Delva told CPJ.