Journalists Killed  |  Colombia

Oscar Salazar Jaramillo

Radio Sevilla

March 10, 2003, in Sevilla, Colombia

Salazar, owner of Radio Sevilla in the Valle del Cauca Department in southwestern Colombia, was found dead in his apartment in the town of Sevilla at 9:30 a.m. with several stab wounds in his chest, stomach, and abdomen, according to a police bulletin.

Salazar, 74, hosted a one-hour radio program broadcast on Saturdays called "Sevilla in Seven Days" and was also the founder and owner of the station, said Wilson Rendón, a station employee. Salazar's apartment, where he lived alone, is located above the station.

On his radio program, Salazar gave commentary on politics, sports, and community news and discussed issues on air with listeners who called. He had served as a congressman and a state deputy but did not hold a political position at the time of his death, said Rendón. Salazar had recently criticized local politicians for not fulfilling campaign promises and ignoring constituents' needs. However, he did not criticize any politicians by name, said Rendón.

Although Rendón said he was unaware of threats against Salazar's life, a relative of Salazar's, Rafael Salazar, told local reporters that the journalist had been threatened with death shortly before he was killed for opinions expressed on the air.

A spokesman for the Valle Department police said there was no evidence that Salazar had been robbed, and that authorities are investigating rumors that he was killed in reprisal for the views he expressed on his program. No arrests have been made, and investigators have not established a motive for the murder.

Leftist rebels and right-wing paramilitary fighters are all active in the region. The rival groups and the Colombian government are embroiled in a decades-long civil war. Salazar founded Radio Sevilla, part of the Caracol Radio network, 49 years ago.

Motive Unconfirmed: CPJ is investigating to determine whether the death was work-related.


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