Reporter receives death threats in Durango

On May 27, 2009, an unidentified individual threatened José Bladimir Antuna García, a reporter who covers the police beat for the Durango-based daily El Tiempo. The reporter, who has previously been threatened, told CPJ he believes the death threat is linked to his reporting on organized crime and drug trafficking.

Antuna said he received several anonymous threats to his cell phone in 2008. The callers repeatedly told the reporter to “tone it down,” he told CPJ. Antuna said he did not take the threats seriously until he saw a man in a parked truck outside his home on April 28. The journalist said that when he realized the unidentified man was pointing a weapon at him, he ran back into the house and was unharmed. 

On May 27, Antuna received another call directly to El Tiempo‘s newsroom from an unidentified individual, he told CPJ. He said he believed the threat was retaliation for his recent reporting on crimes linked to drug trafficking in the region. The latest threat came on the day of Eliseo Barrón Hernández’ funeral. Barrón, a reporter and photographer for the Torreón-based daily La Opinión, was kidnapped and killed on May 25 in Durango.

Antuna said he filed a report with the Durango State public prosecutor’s office. According to the reporter, the investigation has not progressed. Antuna, who is not receiving police protection, said he is continuing to work. However, he is currently not living at home for fear of threats against him or his family.