Rodolfo Maya Aricape

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Two gunmen shot Maya, a journalist and a leader of the local indigenous community, in his home in rural Caloto in southwest Cauca province, according to the Bogotá-based Foundation for Freedom of the Press (FLIP) and CPJ interviews.

Maya, 34, was a correspondent for Radio Payumat, a community radio station that is part of a network operated by the Association of Indigenous Councils in Norte del Cauca (ACÍN).  Maya covered political issues and the civil conflict in the region, according to Jorge Arias, an ACÍN representative. Maya's newsgathering activities were closely tied to his role as an indigenous leader, Arias said.

Two weeks before the murder, graffiti in Caloto accused Maya and other indigenous leaders of being members of the leftist guerrilla group Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia (FARC), CPJ sources said. Arias told CPJ that it was difficult to establish whether Maya was killed for his journalism or his role as an indigenous community leader.

No police investigation had been initiated as of early December, local authorities told CPJ. Arias said indigenous officials were conducting an investigation of their own. 

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