Two men on a motorcycle gunned down journalists Danilo Zapon López of Prensa Libre and Federico Salazar of Radio Nuevo Mundo in Mazatenango, 170 kilometres west of Guatemala’s capital, Guatemala City, on March 10, 2015 while the journalists were walking through the city’s main square. Marvin Tunches, a reporter for a local TV station, was also wounded in the attack.
Zapon reportedly had received threats in connection with his work. Authorities arrested two alleged gang members in connection with the crime, but prosecutors sought to move proceedings to the country’s capital after receiving a telephone call warning that more journalists would be killed if the investigation continued.
In November 2017, Guatemala’s Supreme Court lifted the immunity of a congressman suspected of ordering the attack, Julio Juarez Ramirez, clearing the way for a judicial investigation. Authorities said Juarez ordered the attack targeting Zapon because the journalist’s reporting hurt Juarez’s political prospects and that Salazar was considered a collateral victim.