Bogotá, February 5, 2004—The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) is investigating the murder of Oscar Alberto Polanco Herrera, a television journalist who was shot dead yesterday, February 4, in the town of Cartago, Valle del Cauca Department, 125 miles (200 kilometers) southwest of the capital, Bogotá.
Authorities said that Polanco Herrera, director of the local news program "CNC Noticias" on Cable Unión de Occidente, was shot three times by two unidentified men on motorcycles in his office parking lot at 1 p.m. Police Colonel Jairo Salcedo said authorities do not have information on the gunmen or the possible motives for the killing.
Polanco, 37, broadcast a daily, hour-long local news program. According to Polanco’s friend and colleague Luis Ángel Murcia, a month-and-a-half ago, Polanco changed the format of his show and began using it as a forum to irreverently criticize local officials.
Murcia told CPJ that despite the new format, Polanco’s program maintained a close relationship with the mayor’s office, and that Polanco himself was a personal friend to many local politicians.
"Cartago is an intolerant city with a long history of drug-trafficking and hired killers." Murcia told CPJ. "Currently this has reduced significantly, but the intolerance makes it easy to create enemies, and most problems are resolved with bullets."
Polanco was not known to have received any death threats before his death, Murcia said.
Valle del Cauca department Governor Angelino Garzón condemned Polanco’s murder. An award of 5 million pesos (US$1,800) is being offered for any information leading to the capture of Polanco’s killers.
CPJ calls for justice for Ecuadoran reporting team killed in Colombia
April 17, 2018 5:03 PM ET
Bogotá, Colombia, April 17, 2018--Authorities in Ecuador and Colombia must conduct a transparent investigation into the kidnapping and killing of an Ecuadoran reporting team in Colombia and ensure all those responsible face justice, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today....
Colombia's Supreme Court orders magazine to reveal sources
January 18, 2018 4:05 PM ET
Bogotá, Colombia, January 18, 2018--The Committee to Protect Journalists is alarmed by the Colombian Supreme Court ruling that forces a business magazine to reveal its sources and urges the court to overturn its decision on appeal....
Colombian mayor threatens, shoots at local journalist
December 19, 2017 5:18 PM ET
Bogotá, Colombia, December 19, 2017 - Colombian authorities should immediately suspend the mayor of a town in northern Colombia, and undertake a swift and credible investigation into reports that he threatened and shot at a local radio journalist, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today....
Knife-wielding assailants attack crime reporter in southwestern Colombia
August 25, 2017 5:19 PM ET
New York, August 25, 2017--Colombian authorities should undertake a swift and credible investigation into an attack yesterday against crime reporter Mauricio Cardoso in the southwestern state of Caquetá, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today....
Colombian documentary filmmaker repeatedly threatened with death
August 1, 2017 5:44 PM ET
New York, August 1, 2016--Colombian authorities should swiftly and credibly investigate threats against documentary filmmaker and activist Bladimir Sánchez Espitia and should ensure his safety, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. Sánchez told CPJ a man with a gun came looking for him in the early hours of...