Laurent Ángel Castillo Cifuentes, 28, was a correspondent for Nuestro Diario, Canal 5 Punto Rojo, and the magazine Mi Coatepeque Cultural. On February 1st, 2018,, he was found dead along with his friend and colleague Luis Alfredo de León Miranda in a field. The men had their hands and feet bound, and their bodies bore signs of violence, with at least three gunshot wounds each. Journalists and media workers in Guatemala face a threatening environment, with over 40 killed since the year 2000.
Laurent’s father described his son as someone who “always had a journalistic vocation, which comes from a family tradition of more than 70 years.” According to his friend Luis Aguilar, Laurent “did important work, such as when we discovered an embezzlement scheme, and he also made reports that implicated prosecutors from the Public Prosecutor’s Office, the National Civil Police, former mayors, and the Peasant Unity Committee.” According to some of his friends, he had received threatening calls. At a joint funeral held for the two, relatives, friends, journalists and neighbours from Coatepeque, went to the Public Ministry to demand that the crime be solved. His colleagues carried a sign that said “One cannot kill the truth by killing the journalist.”Written based on the original Spanish language text by Lucía Escobar (see link for the Instituto Prensa y Sociedad here.)