His death would shake the entire regime in Burkina Faso. Despite his voice being silenced, his spirit became the flame to ignite the fight against corruption, crime and human rights violations.
The afternoon of 13 december 1998, a vehicle was found burning in Southern Burkina Faso, a 4×4 black Land Cruiser Toyota. Four men were shot and then burned.
Norbert Zongo's body was the only one lying next to the car and not inside. The director of the most widely read weekly newspaper L'Indépendant had been killed. He had been a strong figure of the opposition to Blaise Compaoré's regime, renowned for denouncing the authoritarian practices and dark deals, touching Compaoré's inner circle.
The case that allegedly cost his life involved the president’s brother François Compaoré and the dead of his former driver David Ouedraogo in dubious and arbitrary circumstances five days after he had been imprisoned.
Unprecedented mobilization shaked the regime to its bones. Demonstrations and strikes followed the next sunrise after the discovery of the death of Zongo. The pressure provoked the creation of an Commission of Inquiry that failed -until today- to find anyone responsible.
Who pulled the trigger that afternoon, is still unknown. Who instructed them to shoot hasn’t yet been proven. But that was the beginning of the end for the Compaoré regime that ended later in 2014 after a civil revolution.