Juan Carlos Encinas

Beats Covered:
Local or Foreign:

Encinas, 39, a freelance reporter in the small town of Catavi in La Paz Department, died of wounds sustained while he was covering a fight between two mining cooperatives that were vying for control of a limestone quarry outside the city.

On July 29, about 50 armed members of the mining cooperative Marmolera Comunitaria Ltda surrounded and attacked members of Cooperativa Multiactiva Catavi Ltda, which controlled the quarry.

The attackers fired at least seven shots, wounding a worker and Encinas, who was shot in the groin. Encinas was initially treated at a local medical post but died on the way to a hospital in the city of El Alto.

Encinas was carrying a camera and a tape recorder, and his credentials identified him as a journalist. Three days before Encinas’ death, a small production company hired him to report on the story for La Paz–based TV channel Canal 21, according to the local press union Federación de Trabajadores de la Prensa de Bolivia.
Two days after Encinas’ death, the El Alto police arrested eight men suspected of the killing. Though they were initially ordered released on bail, the Superior District Court of La Paz overturned that decision and the suspects remained in preventive detention.