The Navarrese journalist David Beriáin ( Artajona, 1977) and the Biscayan Roberto Fraile, who had been considered missing after an attack by an armed group this Monday in eastern Burkina Faso, have been killed, as confirmed on Tuesday by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, EU and Cooperation, Arancha González Laya.
As indicated in the press conference at the end of the Council of Ministers, the latest information available is that their bodies have been found in the area of the attack. Both were journalists who were making a documentary, he specified.
David Beriáin had made reports in several countries, from Afghanistan to Mexico, had covered the fall of Tripoli in Libya, and had dealt with drug trafficking, mafias, or the Amazon jungle. He had become an entrepreneur and ran his own production company, 93 Metros, with his wife, Rosaura Romero.
The two journalists were missing along with an Irishman and a member of the Burkinabe security forces following an attack carried out by unidentified armed persons against a mixed patrol of the anti-poaching unit in the province of Kompienga (southeast).
Local media had reported that this attack resulted in three wounded and four missing and later have indicated, citing security sources, that the three Westerners have been executed by their captors.
The attack, perpetrated near the town of Pama , the provincial capital, also resulted in the robbery of weapons and equipment by the assailants. Among the material are two vehicle-mounted machine guns, a drone, twelve motorcycles and frequency receivers.
The east and north of Burkina Faso have suffered an increase in insecurity in recent years, especially as a result of the spike in attacks by jihadist groups, including the Al Qaeda branch in the Sahel, the Group for Support Islam and Muslims (JNIM), and the Islamic State in the Greater Sahara (ISGS), which have also caused an increase in inter-community clashes.
The Burkinabe Army confirmed on Monday that during the last week of antiterrorist operations, four soldiers have died and two alleged terrorists have been “neutralized”, as reported by the Burkina24 news portal.
Faced with this situation, the Prime Minister of Burkina Faso, Christophe Dabiré, opened the door at the beginning of February to a possible process of dialogue with the terrorists. “We are not saying that Burkina Faso is against negotiations with terrorists,” he said in a speech to Parliament.
Profile of David Beriáin
David Beriain Amatriain , was from Artajona , Navarra. As a journalist, he trained at the University of Navarra and grew up in a small newspaper in the interior of Argentina, where he investigated corruption schemes. He has covered armed conflicts since 2002. Iraq, Afghanistan, Sudan, Colombia, or Pakistan are some of the scenarios in which he has worked. Although his first experience in a war zone took place in Afghanistan, his true baptism of fire was the invasion of Iraq. There, at the age of 25, he smuggled through the mountains of northern Iraq on the double bottom of a truck in order to cover the war.
In March 2008, he became one of the few reporters who managed to enter the FARC camps with a video camera. His series of reports ‘ Ten days with the FARC ‘ opened an exclusive window to the underground world of the Colombian guerrilla. That work earned him the José Manuel Porquet Prize for digital journalism and was a finalist in the Bayeux-Calvados, the most prestigious in the world for war correspondents. It was selected in a list in which media such as The New York Times, The Times, Liberation or Paris Match are.
In 2009 he joined Cuatro. His first destination was Afghanistan. Together with Sergio Caro, the photographer and cameraman with whom he did most of his work, he embarked on a three-month trip to investigate what the Spanish troops deployed there were facing. It reached the Taliban commander who had ordered the death of Brigade Juan Andrés Suárez and Corporal Rubén Alonso Ríos. He spoke with insurgent commanders, with the Taliban on foot, interviewed future suicide bombers, and accompanied US soldiers operating in the same areas as the Spanish into combat.
To reveal a hidden and undesirable reality of the society we live in, someone has to ask the questions that no one wants to ask and reach the people who have the answers. David Beriain had spent years bringing to light the background of the illegal activities that take place in different countries of the world: drug trafficking, networks of sexual exploitation of women, arms trafficking, grave robbers, human trafficking networks … This journalist He managed to access the interior of the main criminal organizations that operate in the world to bring to light the different realities that they hide from the mouths of their own protagonists. In recent months, Beriain published the Clandestino series on DMAX, eight one-hour thematic installments, in each of which the journalist was introduced to some of the most complex and secretive criminal groups.