Unidentified gunmen shot Molina four times in the face as he was
headed home on his motorcycle from the radio station with his wife, according
to news reports. His wife was slightly wounded, but Molina died at a local
hospital, the reports said.
Molina, 40, hosted a Wednesday-night
radio program, called “Consultorio Jurídico” (The Law Office), on community radio
station Puerto Berrío Stereo. Orlando González, director of Puerto Berrío
Stereo and Molina’s co-host, told CPJ that Molina often used the call-in
program to accuse the government of corruption. He said Molina had received
several threats in recent months, including a plastic bag filled with black
dirt and unidentified bones that arrived the week before he was killed.
Molina was also a former transportation and sports secretary for
the town government and a prominent lawyer. He had filed
36 lawsuits against the town
government alleging corruption, cost overruns, and mismanagement of public
works, González said.
Benjamin Pelayo, a reporter in Puerto Berrío for Medellín’s
Teleantioquia TV station, told CPJ that Robinson Baena, a local mayor, used his
own program on a community TV station to defend his administration from
Molina’s accusations and deny allegations of corruption. Baena did not return
calls from CPJ seeking comment.
Capt. Juan Carlos Fuentes, chief of police in the district that
includes Puerto Berrío, told CPJ that authorities had offered a 20 million peso
reward (about US$10,500) for information leading to the capture of Molina’s
The presence of criminal gangs known in Spanish as bandas
criminales or bacrim has made Antioquia one of the most dangerous
regions of Colombia for journalists, according to CPJ research.