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Rumor That New York Journalist's Killing Tied to Colombian Cocaine Cartels


June 1993

A New York Spanish-language journalist shot to death last year was killed under orders from Colombia's Cali cartel, angered at his writings on the drug trade, according to federal authorities who announced two indictments and five other arrests in the case May 10 (Joseph Treaster, "Editor's Slaying Tied To Leaders Of Drug Cartel: U.S. Says Queens Killing Cost Dealers $20,000," New York Times, 5/11/93, A1).

Journalist Manuel de Dios Unanue was shot twice in the head by a hooded gunman as he sipped a beer at a Jackson Heights restaurant last year. He had written extensively about the link between the Colombian drug trade, corruption and money laundering in New York's Jackson Heights. The ongoing war on drugs has spawned the killings of several journalists in Colombia, but de Dios Unanue is the first journalist killed by drug traffickers in the United States, according to the Times. A former editor of El Diario-La Prensa, the highest circulation Spanish-language daily in New York, de Dios Unanue had just brought out the first issue of a new magazine called Crimen, or Crime, when killed.