Fernando Vidal, a 70-year-old Bolivian radio host, was on air when he was attacked and his studio was set on fire. Vidal suffered second-degree burns as a result of the attack.
Vidal, a former mayor of Yacuiba, Bolivia, is a popular radio host with a regular program that airs from the Radio Popular studio, reports The Associated Press. During Monday's midday program, Vidal was attacked by three masked men. The attack may be part of a larger orchestrated attack against Vidal due to his anti-corruption stance.
According to Esteban Farfan, the victim's son-in-law, the attack occurred during an interview Vidal was having with two women about possible corruption among customs police officers. The three masked men broke into the studio and set it on fire. One of the men was also firing a gun, reports AP. Vidal was burned as he attempted to stop the fire.
Karen Arce, Radio Popular studio technician, was also at the studio when the attack occurred.
Vidal suffered second-degree burns to his hands and face and was transported to a hospital in Santa Cruz along with Arce, who suffered minor burns. Vidal was in intensive care on Tuesday but was in stable condition.
Vidal uses his radio show as a platform against corruption. According to the AP, Yacuiba is near a cocaine trafficking route and black market trading is common among police and customs officers. The interview with the two women was just the latest in a series of attacks on corruption. As a result, Farfan believes his father-in-law's crusade against corruption has created some powerful enemies.
“There are political interests that want to silence the radio station. We will name names at the appropriate time,” Farfan said. The three men have been arrested but are refusing to talk. The comments of Interior Minister Carlos Romero lend credibility to Farfan's stance. Romero stated that the police are investigating other culprits who may have masterminded the attack, reports the AP.