July 16, 2014 - Updated on January 20, 2016

TV cameraman stabbed to death near his home

Reporters Without Borders is deeply shocked to learn that local TV cameraman Carlos José Orellana was stabbed to death in the eastern town of Santiago de María on 12 July. He was the first journalist to be murdered in El Salvador in more than three years. A police source said Orellana was fatally stabbed near his home by two individuals. Aged 23, Orellana worked for local TV station Canal 99. The police investigating his death have not as yet suggested a possible motive. “We call on the Salvadoran authorities to shed all possible light on this murder, its perpetrators and its instigators,” said Camille Soulier, the head of the Reporters Without Borders Americas desk. “We also urge them not to rule out the possibility that the motive was linked to the victim’s work as a journalist.” Ranked 38th out of 180 countries in the 2014 Reporters Without Borders press freedom index, El Salvador enjoys a degree of stability as regards freedom of information. The last journalist to be murdered was Canal 33 cameraman Alfredo Hurtado, who was shot 11 times near the capital on 25 April 2011. The investigation failed to identify a motive. Murders are often blamed on the high rate of violent crime and frequent clashes between criminal gangs.