New York, October 13,
2009—Prominent radio journalist Herbin Hoyos Medina left Colombia on Monday
after authorities uncovered a supposed plot to kill him, according to local
news reports. The Committee to Protect Journalists is concerned about the threats against Hoyos and urges authorities
to continue to provide protection and ensure that the journalist can return to
Hoyos, director and host of the morning radio show “Voces del Secuestro” (Voices of the Kidnapped) on national Caracol Radio, told local reporters that he was forced to leave a public event in Bogotá on Thursday afternoon after he received a telephone tip from Colombian authorities saying that guerrillas from the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) were planning to kill him. According to local and international news reports, the SUV carrying the journalist’s bodyguards was hit by an unidentified truck as he was leaving the event. Authorities said the car accident was part of the murder plot. Hoyos, who fled on a motorcycle, was unharmed.
Hoyos left for an undisclosed location in
On Saturday, Colombian President Álvaro Uribe Vélez condemned the threat against Hoyos, and called on all Colombians to support the journalist’s work. Investigators said FARC leader José Benito Cabrera Cuevas, known as “Fabián Ramírez,” had ordered the hit, the national daily El Tiempo reported.
“Colombian authorities must immediately investigate these
threats against Herbin Hoyos Medina,” said CPJ Senior Americas Program
Coordinator Carlos Lauría. “
“Voces del Secuestro” focuses on kidnapping victims in
In a separate incident on May 11, Carlos
Serrano, director and radio host for the Bogotá-based Radio Diversia, left