Andújar was ambushed and killed by gunmen moments after
a radio broadcast in which he reported on a bloody crime wave that
pitted gang members against police in the southern town of Azua, according
to local news reports.
Andújar was host of Radio Azua’s weekly show “Encuentro Mil
60” (Encounter 1060) and a correspondent with the Santo Domingo-based
daily Listín Diario. Jorge Luis Sención, a radio
reporter who witnessed the attack, was later shot in a second ambush
and lost his right forearm to amputation.
The attack came amid an escalating crime wave in Azua, 75 miles (120
kilometers) south of the capital, Santo Domingo. Several Dominican
journalists who have reported on the crime surge have been threatened
with death and are under police protection, according to press reports.
Andújar left the station at around 9:40 a.m. with colleague
Juan Sánchez, a correspondent with the Santo Domingo-based
dailies El Nacional and Hoy. During the show, the reporters
discussed the killing that morning of four reputed gang members in
a gun battle with police, according to press reports. Andújar
and Sánchez, as well as other journalists from Azua, had previously
received death threats for their comments about the crime wave.
As the reporters were about to drive their motorcycles away, two motorcyclists
shot at them, hitting Andújar in the head as Sánchez
took refuge in a nearby fire station, the Dominican press reported.
Andújar died an hour and a half later in a local hospital.
Sención, a reporter with Enriquillo Radio in the town of Tamayo,
saw the ambush and aided Andújar in the immediate aftermath,
according to a local press account. Later that morning, while with
his pregnant wife, Sención was assaulted by the same gunmen.
Dominican authorities in Santo Domingo dispatched what was described
as an elite police unit and two helicopters to patrol the town.
One suspect, Luis Tejeda Filpo, was shot to death in a gun battle with police on September 15. In 2006, police arrested Vladimir Pujols, leader of the drug trafficking gang “Los
Sayayines.” In May 2007, a Dominican court sentenced Pujols to 30 years in
prison for Andújar’s murder and ordered him to pay 1,300,000 pesos (US$40,945)
to Sención for the attack.
Andújar, a respected journalist with 20 years’ experience,
was also a professor at the Technology University of Azua and president
of an environmental organization.