Colombian Soldiers Raid Home of Journalist

News from Colombia | on: Saturday, 25 April 2009

Members of the Colombian Army have raided the home of veteran Colombian journalist and writer Gustavo Alvarez Gardeazabul in what he has described as an attempt to intimidate him. At least six soldiers in civilian clothes but brandishing guns forced their way into the home of the 70-year-old journalist where they spent 20 minutes searching for documents before taking his two computers and a mobile phone. Though the authorities deny that they were involved in the incident, the men involved fled the scene in a van registered as belonging to the Army.

"They are not going to intimidate me and I will continue to distribute information and tell the truth in Colombia" said Mr Gardeazabul shortly after the April 23rd incident. During the raid, which took place in the town of Tulua in Valle del Cauca region where Mr Gardeazabul served as governor between 1998 and 2000 the men, who also threatened to kidnap him, were constantly receiving instructions by mobile phone said the journalist.

"The president of the republic, Alvaro Uribe, should explain to the country the army's behaviour in this incident" added Mr Gardeazabul.

Last month another journalist, Gustavo Adolfo Valencia, was the victim of an attack in the city of Popayan, in neighbouring Cauca region, after two members of the AUC paramilitary group took him, his wife and their children hostage in their home. During the incident Mr Valencia, who is the news director of the national radio station Todelar, was shot in the leg by the paramilitaries who remained with the family for around an hour before leaving but not taking anything.

See also:

Nov 2008 Attacks on Journalists Continue in Colombia

Sep 2008 90% Impunity for Killers of Journalists in Colombia

Aug 2008 JFC Journalist Murders Database Updated

May 2008 Paramilitaries Threaten Journalists

May 2008 Colombia Condemned for Treatment of Journalists

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