Death threats follow allegations of police abuse

JANUARY 7, 2007
Posted January 12, 2007
María Laura Benítez, Multimedios Nuevo Mundo


Benítez, a journalist for the media company Multimedios Nuevo Mundo based out of the eastern city of Colón, was threatened with death after alleging police abuse during the Canal 8 news program “Nuevo Mundo,” according to press reports.

At 12:30 p.m., while Benítez was broadcasting her daily opinion piece on “Nuevo Mundo,” an unidentified man called the station’s offices and told an assistant that the commentator would die if she continued talking about police, Benítez told CPJ.

The journalist said she believes the threat is retaliation for comments accusing police of abuse against her three nephews and one of their friends on December 24 and 31, 2006, outside a dance club in Colón.

Benítez said Multimedios Nuevo Mundo lodged an official complaint with local authorities on January 7. Local police are conducting an investigation into the threats against her, but Benítez told CPJ that she refused police protection.