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Fri Aug 3, 2018, 02:13 PM

Day of the Journalist: Colombia's journalists need more protection

August 3, 2018

As Colombia prepares to mark “Day of the Journalist” tomorrow, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) deplores the increasingly dangerous environment for media personnel in this Caribbean and Andean country, where the past month has seen a disturbing surge in threats and two journalists were murdered yesterday.

Yesterday’s victims, local newspaper editor Jairo Alberto Calderón Plazas and local radio host Valentín Rúa Tezada, were slain in separate shooting attacks in the western Cauca Valley.

The threats and deadly violence have come at a time of marked political polarization during the transition from outgoing President Juan Manuel Santos to President-elect Iván Duque, who will take office on 7 August. There has been a surge in attacks and intimidation attempts by the paramilitary armed groups still present in many parts of Colombia, which have stepped up their harassment of human rights defenders, union leaders and journalists regarded as problematic.

Jineth Bedoya, a well-known journalist who is deputy editor of the daily El Tiempo, and journalists with La Silla Vacía, a news website,were among those on a hit-list signed by a far-right paramilitary group called the Bloque Central de Las Águilas Negras that was circulated on 14 July.


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Reply Day of the Journalist: Colombia's journalists need more protection (Original post)
Judi Lynn Aug 2018 OP
Judi Lynn Aug 2018 #1
Judi Lynn Aug 2018 #2

Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Fri Aug 3, 2018, 02:19 PM

1. Personalized love note to one of the dead journalists included:

María Jimena Duzán, a journalist with the weekly Semana, received exceptionally violent anonymous threats on Twitter the next day: “Ms. Duzán must be raped, spat on, cut up with a chain saw and hanged in Bolívar Square.” Vanessa de la Torre, a presenter on Noticias Caracol and Blu Radio, was threatened with death on Twitter a few days later for writing articles critical of former President Alvaro Uribe.

The right-wing paras have always saved particularly vicious murders to be used to strike fear into the minds of local Colombians to prompt them to take great pains to please their right-wing overlords in order to avoid such a fate for themselves or their loved ones. It's meant to serve as a terror tactic against the community.

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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Fri Aug 3, 2018, 04:08 PM

2. Two Journalists Killed in Colombia

Bogota, Aug 3 (Prensa Latina) Colombian authorities confirmed today the murder of the director of Contacto news website, Jairo Alberto Calderon, bringing to two the press professionals killed this week in the country.

Calderon, 29, received several bullet wounds while traveling the night before on a motorcycle, in the company of his couple, through Tulua city, department of Valle del Cauca.

The journalist died in the middle of a resuscitation procedure in the Ruben Cruz Velez hospital.

Calderon had not made any complaint for death threats, but hours before his death he received the visit of an unknown individual, authorities said.


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