Colombian radio journalist killed by gunman

New York, March 16, 2012–A Colombian radio journalist was shot dead by an unidentified gunman on Thursday, according to news reports

Argemiro Cárdenas Agudelo, 56, the founder and general manager of Metro Radio Estéreo in Dosquebradas, in the western department of Risaralda, received a phone call around noon from someone requesting a meeting near the station, news reports said. “He was walking to the prearranged meeting point when someone shot him,” Col. Gonzalo Londoño, police commander in the city of Pereira, the capital of Risaralda, told reporters. News reports said the gunman shot Cárdenas several times before fleeing on foot.

Cárdenas also served as mayor of Dosquebradas in 1997, completing the term of the elected mayor who had resigned. Alternating between journalism and politics, he ran unsuccessfully for mayor in 2000 and served as secretary of public works for Dosquebradas and the department of Risaralda. The Colombian press group Foundation for the Freedom of the Press (FLIP) said Cárdenas had pulled back from reporting at Metro Radio Estéreo and was mainly involved in the station’s administrative and commercial departments.  News accounts suggested the killing could have been personal or business-related.

“We are saddened by the killing of Argemiro Cárdenas Agudelo,” said Carlos Lauría, CPJ”s senior program coordinator for the Americas. “The Colombian authorities must fully investigate this crime, determine the motives, and bring those responsible to justice.”