January 5, 2001
Case: Salvador Medina Velázquez
Date of murder: January 5, 2001
How and where murdered: He was shot at point-blank range on a remote road in Capiibary, San Pedro province, Paraguay, as he rode his motorcycle with one of his brothers.
Possible motives: Exposure in his radio broadcasts of alleged lumber smuggling from the Paraguayan Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock forestry reserve and the activities of a gang in the township of Ara Pyahu, 12 miles from Capiibary, linked to assaults and other crimes. He made the exposures in agreement with his brothers Pablo, correspondent of the Asunción daily ABC Color and author of articles on both matters, and Gaspar, a teacher and host of a radio music program. Another possibility is the anger of the principal of a school where he taught over a letter written against him, at the request of students’ parents, demanding his dismissal.
Alleged perpetrators or people involved: Milcíades Maylin, who allegedly committed the murder; Daniel Encisco Marilin, his cousin, alleged owner of the weapon used in the crime; Timoteo Cáceres, principal of the school where the victim taught. The three are being held in the Coronel Oviedo Regional Penitentiary. At large are Claudio Barrientos López, Mirta Miranda and Rolando Miranda Martínez, alleged to have covered for Maylin out of fear of reprisals; Justo Franco, son of Luis Alberto Franco (leader of the Colorado Party allegedly involved in lumber trafficking) and Pablo Quiñónez Torres, involved in the same business. In all, three arrested and five on the run.
Irregularities in the process: The police, according to district attorney Gladys Vallejos, did not act speedily in the case, failing to set up roadblocks on the night of the murder and to report back within the required six hours. Vallejos ordered searches that, curiously, were announced on the radio where the victim worked before they were carried out. She had a meeting with Barrientos López and Mirta Miranda, warning them to collaborate or face arrest as accomplices. They and three others remain at large.
Place of birth: Yaguarón, Paraguary province
Age at death: 27
Marital status: Single