On Saturday, journalist Griselda Blanco, 45, was found dead in her Curuzú Cuatiá home in the Corrientes province, over 300 kilometers away from the provincial capital.
Her death is being investigated as a homicide, and family and colleagues believe she may have been murdered for her reporting. She mainly published independent local stories on social media and had been receiving threats for her work, according to her family.
Her partner, Armando Jara, also a journalist, was arrested as a suspect over the weekend but has not been charged. So far, no other suspects have been named. The case files remain confidential and no further information has been released.
Blanco’s recent posts on social media covered a series of official failings and misdeeds in Curuzú Cuatiá, a town of around 45,000. Topics included poor water quality in the town, crime and theft, among others. According to her posts, she recently covered a case of medical malpractice at the local hospital that led to the death of Debora Serrano.
The Federal Police (PFA)’s homicide division is working on the case after prosecutor María José Barrero Sahagún requested their intervention. A spokesperson for the PFA told the Herald that no further details would be shared publicly to preserve the investigation’s integrity.
Barrero Sahagún could not immediately be reached for comment. However, Blanco’s union, the Corrientes Journalist’s Association, wrote in a statement that Barrero Sahagún had confirmed the case was being investigated as a homicide and that the details were to be kept confidential.
Griselda Blanco’s son, Lautaro Cesani, told Télam on Sunday that he thought Jara (Blanco’s partner) wasn’t involved in her death, although they’re waiting to “see what the forensic report says.”
Cesani also said that his mother had asked him to contact lawyer Silvia Casarrubia if “something” happened to her.
He posted on his Facebook profile: “Our mother didn’t kill herself, our mother was killed, she told truths no one else dared to say, they wanted to shut her up and they couldn’t.”
Casarrubia, who is now representing Blanco’s family, posted on Facebook that she demands the judiciary keep investigating beyond the detention of Jara.
“She was being harassed, questioned,” she wrote, adding that Blanco had exposed the malpractice of local prosecutors, the local police, and local doctors.
“They were always trying to silence her – a brave, powerful woman. And they killed her.”
Both Casarrubia and Cesani said that there were irregularities in the crime scene after the body was found.
“She was threatened by a police officer who was sued for abuses and told to stop talking,” Cesani told Télam.
He added that after his mother’s body was found, “the local police acted irregularly: there were six officers coming in and out of her house, the crime scene, without any prosecutors, forensics or secretaries there — anything could have happened,” he added.
The Corrientes Journalist’s Association (APC), published yesterday that their representatives headed to Curuzu Cuatiá to “familiarize” themselves with the crime. They spoke to the prosecutor and are “worried about clarifying what happened, urging authorities to exhaust all instances in the framework of the investigation.”
FATPREN, the Federation of Journalist Unions in Argentina, also tweeted their concern over Blanco’s death.
“We demand that the justice system carry out a transparent investigation to shed light on the case as a matter of urgency,” said the thread.
On her Facebook page, Blanco introduced herself as a “social communicator informing with the truth, assisting the community with people’s solidarity”.
Her family and friends will march this afternoon to demand justice for her death. They will gather at 5p.m. at the Plaza General Belgrano in Corrientes city.
—with information from Télam