July 7, 2000
Mr. Alfonso Gómez Méndez
Attorney General of Colombia
Dear Mr. Gómez,
The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) is writing to express its sorrow over the July 4 assassination of Marisol Revelo Barón, a journalist based in Tumaco in the southwestern department of Nariño. We urge you to see to it that the perpetrators of this crime are brought to justice swiftly.
Local sources have informed CPJ that on July 4, at around 7:30 p.m., two gunmen on a motorcycle stopped in front of Revelo's house on La Playa Avenue in Tumaco. One kept the motorcycle's engine running, while the other knocked on the journalist's door. Revelo's companion opened the door and was told the visitors had a message for Revelo. When Revelo came to the door, the attacker fired five shots, hitting her three times. The journalist was killed instantly. Her companion, a member of a local battalion of marines, was wounded in the leg and was taken to a military hospital.
Although Revelo spent her entire career working as a journalist, at the time of her death she was a social worker with the Regional Autonomous Corporation of Nariño, a state-run environmental agency. Before joining this agency (also known as Corponariño) a year and a half ago, Revelo worked as a news director for Radio Mira, an affiliate of the Radio Caracol network in Tumaco, and as a local reporter for TV channels Teletumaco and Impacto Televisión.
According to area reports, the local police are investigating the attack but as yet have made no statement about a possible motive. CPJ's local sources have not been able to immediately identify the cause of the attack.
We welcome the commitment made by President Andrés Pastrana Arango in a letter sent to CPJ on June 28 to support the Office for Research on Journalist Cases, created under the Human Rights Unit of your office. We hope the president's support will ensure a thorough and prompt investigation into the assassination of Revelo, and other crimes committed against journalists. We call on you to ensure that the perpetrators are punished to the full extent of the law.
Americas Program Coordinator