A man who was about to be the subject of a media expose in the Dominican Republic is now being investigated in connection with the killing of the journalist who was writing it, according to media reports from the Dominican. As part of the investigation, authorities are also talking to former major leaguer Jose Rijo, who was one of the man's business associates.
The Associated Press reported on Friday that Dominican journalist Jose Agustin Silvestre was kidnapped and shot to death in La Romana on Aug. 2, shortly before he planned to publish an investigative report about Matias Avelino Castro. Silvestre's story would have included allegations that Avelino is a drug trafficker and engaged in corruption with local officials.
The AP reported that police had arrested five people in the case, but not Avelino, whom the report referred to as the "alleged mastermind" behind the kidnapping and murder.
In a separate report, the Dominican Today English-language Website reported that Dominican authorities had raided and searched a hotel owned by Avelino and Jose Rijo, a former major league pitcher and former Nationals special assistant. According to both Dominican Today and the AP, Rijo and Avelino have investments together, and Rijo has been questioned several times by Dominican authorities, though he hasn't been detained.
Rijo served as a special assistant to former Nationals general manager Jim Bowden from 2005-2009. Rijo was a pivotal figure in the Nationals' July 2, 2006, signing of Dominican shortstop Esmailyn Gonzalez for $1.4 million. An investigation later revealed that Gonzalez's real name was Carlos Alvarez and that he was 20, not 16 as he had claimed. The Nationals fired Rijo in 2009 and moved out of his Dominican academy, which the club was renting as its Dominican facility.
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