Freelance journalist shot dead in Texas

texas journalist

Police find body of murdered US freelance journalist

Press freedom watchdog calls for full investigation into the motive

His body was found in Garland, a suburb of Dallas-Fort Worth, on Monday (13 June). He had been killed by a single shot several days before, according to police.

Torres (full name: Jacinto Hernández Torres) was 57. He ran a real estate business as well as acting as a contributor to La Estrella, the Spanish-language sister newspaper to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

He covered local social issues. A search of his articles on the paper’s website by the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) showed that he had written recently about the Mexican elections, concern about the dangers of underage drinking, and the effect of US voter identification laws.

The motive for his murder is unclear. His daughter, Aline, told reporters at a press conference that there could be a link to her father’s journalism: he was working, he had told her, on sensitive stories about illegal immigration and human trafficking.

His son, Gibrán, told the CPJ that, aside from investigating riskier stories, he was also worried about dealing with angry tenants as part of his real estate business.

His body was found on the back patio of a house that was for sale and which, according to his daughter, he was preparing to acquire.

The CPJ’s Carlos Lauría called on the authorities to investigate the possibility that the murder was due to his journalistic work.

Torres, who was born in Monterrey, Mexico, had lived in the US since 1979. He had worked for La Estrella for 20 years and was an active member of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists.

Killings of journalists in the United States are relatively rare: seven journalists have been killed in the country because of their work since CPJ began documenting cases in 1992.

Sources: CPJ/Star-Telegram/WFAA

 

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