Guatemalan news reporter killed by Pacaya volcano

Saturday, May 29, 2010

File photo of the Pacaya volcano.
Image: Selbst Aufgenommen.

Aníbal Archila, a Guatemalan reporter for Notisiete, was killed Thursday night as he was reporting on the eruption of the Pacaya volcano. Firefighters and another journalist found his body near Cerro Chino. Two more bodies were found near Cerro, both in the path of a lava flow. Archila, 32, had worked twelve years as a journalist.

Fellow worker Vinicio Fuentes said that Archila couldn't escape from the rain of volcanic stones, but his cameraman and another group of local reporters could. Archila was found with several lava and rock injuries on his body.

President Álvaro Colom and many other Guatemalan officials attended Archila's wake at a local chapel. Archila's body was taken at 08:30 (14:30 UTC) to the Metropolitan Cathedral for a mass. Later, it was moved to Notisiete's headquarters, where a memorial took place. Internment will take place at the Hermano Pedro cemetery in Mixco.

The volcano began erupting on Thursday, and on Friday searches began for another three people who are missing. Colom has placed Guatemala City and the Escuintla region under a state of emergency. About 1,600 people have been evacuated from the region, and La Aurora International Airport has been closed.