José Luis Cabezas

Beats Covered:
Local or Foreign:

Cabezas, a photographer for the news magazine Noticias,
was found dead on January 25, handcuffed and charred, inside a burned
rental car outside of Pinamar, a beach resort where Cabezas was working
on a story. He was one of the first photojournalists to take a picture
of Alfredo Yabrán, a well-known and reclusive tycoon described by a
prominent politician as head of the Argentine mafia.

Cabezas’ murder evoked memories of brutal killings in Argentina’s
“dirty war” of the 1980s and outraged journalists, who took to the
streets in protest and pressured the government for a thorough
investigation. The Justice Minister was forced to resign after it
became known that he had received phone calls from Yabrán. Numerous
arrests have been made in connection with the murder, including current
and former police officers and Yabrán’s security chief. Journalists
covering the investigation have been threatened.

On February 2, 2000, the Dolores appellate court passed life sentences
on eight men convicted of participating in the the killing. The court
found that the murder had been masterminded by Yabrán, who committed
suicide in 1998.