A man posing as a delivery person entered Aguilar's home in southwestern Cauca province around 7:15 p.m., saying he had a package of photos to deliver, according to Ovidio Hoyos, director of the Popayán-based Radio Súper, where Aguilar worked. Once inside, the assailant shot Aguilar three times and fled. The journalist died at the scene, Hoyos told CPJ.
Aguilar, 72, was a correspondent for Radio Súper in the southern city of Patía. He also hosted a daily news program on the community radio station Bolívar Estéreo, Hoyos said. The journalist had reported for Radio Súper for 10 years and was known for his harsh criticism of corruption and links between local politicians and right-wing paramilitaries, according to CPJ interviews and local news reports. A 30-year veteran, he had also reported for national Caracol Radio and RCN.
Martín Aguilar, the journalist's son, told CPJ that his father had received death threats two years ago, but he did not know of any recent ones. Hoyos said Aguilar had not relayed any threats to him.
Local and national authorities were investigating, Col. Luis Joaquín Camacho, commander of the Cauca police, told CPJ. On July 10, 2009, the Colombian National Police arrested Arley Manquillo Rivera, also known as "El Huracán," at a routine checkpoint outside the provincial capital, Popayán, based on witness descriptions of the assailant, according to an official police statement. Authorities believed Manquillo, who has alleged ties to the local drug trafficking gang Los Rastrojos, was hired to kill the journalist, a police spokesman told CPJ. Investigators were looking into Aguilar's reporting on local and provincial government corruption as motive for the murder.
Manquillo denied involvement in the killing and claimed he was at a meeting at the time of the murder. In November 2009, a judge ordered Manquillo freed, new reports said.