Alfredo Abad López

Beats Covered:
Local or Foreign:

Abad, director of La Voz de la Selva (Voice of the Jungle), a local affiliate of the national Caracol radio network, was killed by two gunmen on a motorcycle early in the morning as he was saying goodbye to his wife outside their home in the southern Colombian city of Florencia.

His murder came two weeks after a colleague, Guillermo León Agudelo, was stabbed to death by two men who had forced their way into his home.

Florencia police chief Col. Henry Calderón told CPJ that Abad, 36, was sitting in his car talking to his wife at 5:50 a.m. when two men drove up on a red motorcycle and fired a volley of bullets at point-blank range from a 9mm semiautomatic pistol and a .38 revolver. He was hit by at least four shots in the stomach, chest, and head.

Florencia, in southern Caquetá province, is a former stronghold of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), a Marxist guerrilla organization. More recently, the town has become a power base for an anti-Communist paramilitary group linked to Carlos Castaño’s United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia (AUC).

Abad had been director of Voz de la Selva for the last two years, according to a colleague. Previously, he worked as a reporter for RCN, a rival radio network. Local sources concurred that paramilitary gunmen had murdered Abad because of his work as a journalist, although the suggested motives differed.

One source told CPJ that Abad was probably killed for investigating the murder of his colleague Agudelo. But according to the local Foundation for Press Freedom (FLIP), various local sources attributed the killing to Abad’s most recent broadcast, which discussed the government’s decision to cede a Switzerland-sized chunk of territory to the FARC. The station had been threatened by the paramilitaries on two occasions a year earlier, FLIP reported.