Orel Sambrano

Beats Covered:
Local or Foreign:

62, director of the local political weekly ABC de la Semana and
broadcaster Radio América, was shot by a motorcycle-riding assailant outside a
video store in the northern city of Valencia,
according to local news reports and CPJ interviews.

also a practicing lawyer, was known locally for his investigations and
commentaries on local politics, local reporters told CPJ. Prior to his death,
he had reported extensively on drug trafficking for ABC de la Semana and
Radio América, according to news reports and CPJ interviews.

February 13, 2009, Venezuelan authorities arrested
Rafael Segundo Pérez, a former sergeant for the Carabobo police, in connection
with Sambrano’s killing. Pérez was accused of being a hired assassin, police
told the local press.

prosecutor’s office also alleges that local
Walid Makled plotted the crime in retaliation for Sambrano’s
stories on the links between the businessman’s brother and drug traffickers,
the national newspaper El
reported. Former police officer David Antonio Yánez Inciarte
and two members of Los Piloneros criminal gang,
Arístides José Carvajal Salgado and
Víctor Reales Hoyo allegedly carried out the slaying, according to local press
reports. Carvajal was identified as the gunman by the prosecutor’s office.

investigative police arrested
Yánez during a raid in February 2010, in the city of Moron, Carabobo state, according to press
reports. Carvajal died in a shooting involving the
Venezuelan investigative police,
reported on March 27, 2010. Reales and Makled remain fugitives.

May 18, 2010, a court of Carabobo state sentenced
former sergeant Pérez to 25 years in prison on conspiracy charges related to
the murder, according to Venezuelan press reports. The court found that the he
had monitored Sambrano’s daily routine and provided the information to the
killers, the Caracas-based newspaper El Nacional reported.