Colombian Journalist Survives Assassination Attempt, Another Threatened

News from Colombia | on: Saturday, 9 May 2009

Colombian radio and newspaper reporter Francisco Marquez Lugo yesterday returned home to find a notice threatening to kill him stuck on the front door of his house in the town of San Pelayo in the northern region of Cordoba. The threats comes less than two week after unknown assassins shot and wounded another journalist, Hugo Cuartas, as he left the offices of a regional TV station in the central Colombian city of Manizales. That attack occurred just one day before yet another journalist, Jose Everardo Aguilar, was murdered in an act of violence condemned by the United Nations.

The latest attacks, say press freedom organisations, follow a pattern of violence targeted at Colombian journalists in recent years. Mr Marquez Lugo, who worked for Radio Uno and the newspaper El Propio, is not thought to have received threats in the past, though his colleague, Mr Cuartas, who presented a TV news programme and who was shot in the arm during the April 25th attempt on his life, had apparently previously received death threats.

According to the Colombian Freedom of the Press Foundation (FLIP) last year saw some 130 violations of press freedom in the country and, as a result of threats self-censorship is widely practiced. According to the FLIP whilst illegal armed groups were responsible for the majority of threats against journalists in the past, the primary violators are now in fact members of the Colombian security forces and state officials.

See also:

May 2009, UN Condemns Killing of Colombian Journalist

April 2009, Colombian Soldiers Raid Home of Journalist (which includes links to previous stories)

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