An unidentified assailant shot Gómez, 70, as he returned
home with his wife, and then fled on a motorcycle, news reports said.
Gómez, a freelance journalist and a government witness in
an investigation into links between politicians and paramilitary groups, had reported on local corruption in the Urabá region of
Antioquia, according to the Colombian press freedom group Foundation for Press
Freedom. Most recently, he had written about tourism and the environment
for the local newspapers El Heraldo de Urabá and Urabá
al día, among others. The newspaper El
Colombiano said the journalist had not received any threats prior to his
Gómez was also participating as a witness in the attorney
general’s investigation into links between politicians and illegal right-wing
paramilitary groups, a case commonly known as the “parapolitics” scandal.
Another witness in the case was killed a few days before the journalist’s
death, and investigators said other witnesses had disappeared, press reports
Gómez was also investigating the unsolved murder of his
son two years earlier, the daily El
Until 2006, the violent Urabá region of Antioquia province
had been controlled for many years by the paramilitary group United
Self-Defense Forces of Colombia, press reports said. Colombian provincial
journalists, working in areas where paramilitaries and other illegal armed
groups had been prevalent, faced severe challenges in reporting on the
organizations’ activities, CPJ research shows.