Lorena Saravia

Beats Covered:
Local or Foreign:

Saravia, a prominent newscaster in El Salvador and a news anchor at radio station RCS, was abducted from her car, murdered with a shot to the head, and found dead in a vacant lot the following morning. Her car was found a week later in Santa Ana, 50 kilometers (31 miles) from San Salvador. Nothing was stolen. Prior to working at Radio RCS, Saravia was a television news presenter. Radio RCS airs political talk shows hosted by ex-military officers and ex-guerrillas.

In February 1998, Salvadoran police announced with great fanfare that they had arrested 13 people, among them several former police officers, for the murder of Saravia, who they alleged had been killed on the orders of a jilted lover. Five men were immediately released because of lack of evidence. Seven months later, the remaining eight were set free by a judge who ruled that they had been framed in an internecine police department dispute. While the motive for Saravia’s murder remains unclear, the handling of the investigation has raised concerns about a possible cover-up.