Édison Alberto Molina

Beats Covered:
Local or Foreign:

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 killers.

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.

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