Colombia: Cameraman killed in leftist rebel attack

New York, December 3, 1999 — Pablo Emilio Medina Motta, a cameraman with the regional television station, TV Garzón, was killed by multiple shots to the head and back when more than 100 leftist guerrillas stormed the town of Gigante in Huila department. Six other people died and twenty were wounded in the attack.

Medina Motta, 19, was filming in Gigante at around 7:30 p.m. when guerrillas from the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) attacked the town. According to local journalists, Medina Motta got onto the back of a motorcycle with a commander from the police intelligence service and tried to film the fire fight. Local journalists say the FARC guerrillas shot Medina Motta because they thought he was a member of the police forces.

Three banks were blown up in the five-hour attack, though no money was reported stolen. Ten civilian houses located near police headquarters were also destroyed. An investigation is currently under way. Medina Motta is the fourth Colombian journalist killed in the line of duty this year.