Journalist receives death threat

NOVEMBER 22, 2007
Posted January 18, 1008

Diro César González, La Tarde

González, director of the Barrancabermeja-based weekly newspaper La Tarde, received a letter mourning his death at his home in the northern province of Santander. In 2006, González had been forced to flee following repeated death threats linked to his reporting on local right-wing paramilitary groups.

In the afternoon of November 22, González and his wife found a manila envelope with the journalist’s name outside the door to their home, which also serves as La Tarde’s offices, González told CPJ. The journalist said inside the envelope was an anonymous card offering condolences for his death. He told CPJ that he filed complaints with local and national authorities.

González said he did not know who sent the card. However, he believes the threat is retaliation for La Tarde’s recent coverage of regional elections, which were held on October 28. According to González, La Tarde reported aggressively on local government and police corruption, and paramilitary activities during and after the elections.

In January 2006, González relocated to Bogotá for almost a year after multiple death threats against him, during which time he suspended publication of La Tarde. González now has permanent police protection granted by the Ministry of Interior’s program for journalist protection, he told CPJ.