Journalist gets death threats

NOVEMBER 28, 2006
Posted December 19, 2006

Robinson Ruz Ruz, Radio Piragua


After reporting on links between the local government and right-wing paramilitary leaders, Ruz, director and host of the news program “Noticiero del Medio Día” on local Radio Piragua, received condolence cards for his own death in the city of Sincelejo, 613 miles (987 kilometers) north of Bogotá.

In the afternoon of November 28, Ruz received a call at home from Radio Piragua informing him that a suspicious package without a return address had been delivered for him at the radio station’s offices, the journalist told CPJ. Ruz immediately called the local police, and two explosive specialists were sent to Radio Piragua. When the police opened the package, they found two anonymous condolence notes, lamenting the journalist’s death.

Ruz received a call from an unidentified individual that night on his home telephone, congratulating him for having received the package. The next morning, Ruz found a smaller envelope with his name under the radio station’s door. The journalist told CPJ that the envelope contained another anonymous condolence note.

Ruz said that he believed the threats were a direct response for his critical reporting on recently proven links between local and national government officials and leaders of right-wing paramilitary groups. Ruz said that after the threats, he had significantly reduced his criticism on this issue.

Local police are investigating the threats against Ruz, and have provided him with a police escort from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. every day.