Libardo Montenegro

Beats Covered:
Local or Foreign:

Two gunmen shot Libardo Montenegro on the evening of June 11, 2019, in Samaniego, a town in Nariño department which borders Ecuador, according to the Bogotá-based Foundation for Press Freedom (FLIP), which cited local police, and news reports.

Montenegro, 42, hosted several programs that covered local news and cultural affairs for the independent community radio station Samaniego Estéreo.

Montenegro’s colleagues and local authorities told FLIP they were not aware of him receiving any threats. FLIP director Pedro Vaca told CPJ that authorities had yet to establish a motive.

On the day he was killed, Montenegro interviewed a local journalist about an event in Samaniego to promote peace and human rights amid a rise in violence in the region, according to FLIP, who spoke with his colleague.

Nariño is one of Colombia’s most violent departments and is home to drug trafficking gangs and dissident members of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), the Marxist guerrilla group that disarmed under a 2016 peace treaty, according to Insight Crime, a research group that investigates organized crime in Latin America.

Last year, CPJ documented how two Ecuadoran journalists and their driver were kidnapped and killed by dissident FARC members in Nariño department.

Nariño Governor Camilo Romero declared on Twitter: "Local journalism is in mourning" and Fernando Carillo, the Colombian government’s inspector general, called the killing "an attack on press freedom."

CPJ called the Samaniego police station several times, but the calls went unanswered.