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Venezuelan journalist and government press officer killed while entering home

Venezuelan authorities are working to determine the motive behind the killing of journalist and government press officer Ricardo Durán.

Early in the morning of Jan. 20, officials reported that Durán had been killed in the entrance to the building where he lives in the Caricuao neighborhood of Caracas.

Digital news site Efecto Cocuyo reported that “preliminary police investigations found that Durán Trujillo was not stripped of his belongings, not even the 9mm gun in his waistband.” They added that prosecutors cited witnesses who reported that three men in a car intended to steal the journalist’s car and his belongings, but he resisted and was shot.

Durán worked for government-owned station Venezolana de Televisión (VTV) and was a press officer of the government of the Capital District.

Newspaper El Universal said “for years, he was the image and anchor of Venezolana de Televisión.”

“Duran was one of the key journalists communicating what happened during the days in April 2002, from the channel facilities, when confusion reigned as President Hugo Chávez was removed from office,” El Universal reported.

He had also worked as Director of Communication and Information of the National Assembly and won the National Journalism Award in 2009, according to El Universal.

Luis José Marcano, Minister for Communication and Information, posted on Twitter: “We deeply regret the murder of compatriot Ricardo Duran…Intelligence agencies are moving to Caricuao at this time!” 

Digital outlet TalCual cited an article from a newspaper of the Community Party of Venezuela had published an article in 2009 that reported “In the past, Durán had experienced several attempts on his life."

According to the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), 2009 was the last time a journalist was killed in Venezuela and the motive was determined to be linked to their work. Orel Sambrano, director of weekly ABC de la Semana and Radio América, was shot in Valencia on Jan. 16, 2009, according to the organization.


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