COLOMBIA: Correspondent for US daily receives death threat

May 25, 2007

Gonzalo Guillén, El Nuevo Herald

An anonymous e-mail message was sent on May 25 to the offices of the Miami-based daily El Nuevo Herald, informing the paper that there was a plot to murder Guillén, the Herald‘s Bogotá correspondent, the journalist told CPJ.

The e-mail message, reviewed by CPJ, warned the paper that there was an order to kill Guill…n as part of a plan organized by a paramilitary group and members of the local police, Metrobog. The e-mail said “the order is to shut him up,” adding that “Gonzalo Guillén should be very careful or he will be killed because the order comes from very high up.” According to Guillén, the Herald immediately contacted the Colombian police commander, Gen. Óscar Naranjo, who said he would investigate the threat.

Guillén told CPJ that he covers general news and that he didn’t know what the threat was linked to.

On May 29, several motorcycles marked Metrobog arrived at the building where Guill…n was staying after leaving his own apartment as a precautionary measure, the journalist told CPJ. While circling the building, the individuals commented loudly that there was no security outside the premises. Guillén said that he immediately called Metrobog and was told that no units had been dispatched to that address.

On May 31, Andrés Peñate, director of the national Administrative Department of Security (DAS), informed Guillén that he had opened an investigation into both incidents, the journalist told CPJ.