TV reporter killed covering mudslides

New York, April 17, 2006—The Committee to Protect Journalists mourns the death of television reporter Jairo Muñoz who was covering mudslides that killed nearly 30 people last week on Colombia’s southwest Pacific coast.

Muñoz and cameraman Rodrigo Trejos were among many journalists reporting on rescue efforts on April 13 in the hard-hit town of Santa Bárbara along the main highway to the coast. At 1 p.m. local time a fresh landslide swept away Muñoz and Trejos, the leading national daily El Tiempo reported. Trejos was rescued moments later but emergency workers did not find Muñoz’s body until Friday afternoon, local media said.

Muñoz, 42, was a reporter for the news program “Noti-5” on the Cali-based station Canal Telepacífico. He reported on states of emergency and crime, said El Tiempo.

“We are saddened by the death of our colleague,” CPJ Executive Director Ann Cooper said. “We extend our deepest condolences to his family, friends and colleagues.”