Journalist escapes assassination attempt

Bogotá, Colombia, April 27, 2004—The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) strongly condemns the assassination attempt against radio journalist Jorge Elías Corredor Quintero that killed his 20-year-old stepdaughter, in northeastern Colombia.

Corredor, who hosts the daily program “El Pregón del Norte” for La Voz del Norte radio station in the city of Cúcuta, Norte de Santander Department, is known for his sharp criticism of local authorities.

According to local press reports, on April 22, at around 7:30 p.m., two men visited Corredor’s home to discuss buying a house the journalist was selling. Ten minutes later, one of the men returned and, without saying a word, pulled out a gun.

Corredor threw himself to the ground but a bullet struck his stepdaughter, Livy Sierra Maldonado, killing her instantly.

The journalist is currently under police custody. Police are offering a 50 million pesos reward (US$19,000) for information leading to the murderer’s capture.

According to several sources familiar with the situation, Corredor, who has worked as a journalist for 27 years, was fired from the radio station on April 4, after the Cúcuta Mayor Ramiro Suárez Corzo pressed the station to end his contract because of Corredor’s criticism against the local administration. A few days later, Corredor was asked to resume his work.

“We call on Colombian authorities to thoroughly investigate this violent attack and to bring those responsible to justice,” said CPJ Executive Director Ann Cooper.