Military personnel allegedly attack journalist in Colombia

On April 23, 2009, six unidentified assailants held at gunpoint Gustavo Álvarez Gardeazábal, host of the political program “La Luciérnaga” on national Caracol Radio, inside his home in the western city of Tuluá, reported the Cali-based daily El País. The attackers ransacked the journalist’s home, stole two computers and two cell phones, according to local news reports. Álvarez and the domestic worker who was with him at the time of the attack were unharmed.

A video camera from the local electrical company recorded the truck used by the assailants, reported El País. Investigators later identified it as a military vehicle. The Colombian army issued a statement saying that on the day of the attack, the truck had been used to transport a family of local peasants, according to the Colombian daily La Nación.

The journalist has been assigned police protection, El País reported. On May 4, Colombian President Álvaro Uribe Vélez offered a 20 million peso (US$10,000) reward for any information about the attack, according to news reports.