On March 8, 2022, Harold Orlando Villanueva was killed at a public sports facility in El Rastro neighborhood in Puerto Barrios, a city in northeastern Guatemala, according to local media. Authorities have begun to investigate the case but have not disclosed a motive for the killing. It is not clear whether the murder is related to Villanueva’s work as a journalist.

Villanueva was the owner and reporter of Noticias del Puerto, an online news site that covers local news and politics in Puerto Barrios. He was a vocal opponent of corruption, often denouncing actions of local authorities. In 2021, police raided Villanueva’s house after he had published a report about police violence, according to independent news website Prensa Comunitaria. Villanueva denounced the incident on Facebook live.