Rodolfo Julio Torres

Beats Covered:
Local or Foreign:

Torres, correspondent with the Cartagena-based radio station Emisora Fuentes, was murdered outside the small town of Berrugas, part of the Atlantic coastal municipality of San Onofre in Sucre Department.

Early on October 21, a group of unidentified individuals abducted Torres from his home and drove the 38-year-old journalist to the outskirts of town. Local journalists said that after shooting him a number of times, they left him dead by the side of the road. His family and community members later discovered his body, according to a neighbor.

Torres had worked as the press secretary for Silfredo Mendoza, the recently elected mayor of a small town near Cartagena. He was formerly a correspondent with Radio Caracolí in Sincelejo, the capital of Sucre Department, and with the Sincelejo daily El Meridiano.

Torres’ colleagues are convinced he was assassinated in reprisal for his outspoken reporting. He covered cockfights, known as major gambling sites, as well as general politics. One year ago, a series of anonymously distributed pamphlets accused him of being affiliated with leftist guerrillas of the National Liberation Army (ELN). It is believed that the pamphlets came from the United Self Defense Forces of Colombia (AUC), a coalition of extreme-right-wing paramilitary groups.