Julio Hernando Palacios Sánchez

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Two armed motorcyclists shot Palacios, 55, a veteran radio news host, as he drove to work around 5:30 a.m. in the city of Cúcuta, in the unstable northeastern region near the Venezuelan border. Palacios, who hosted the morning program "Radio Periódico El Viento" on Radio Lemas, was shot three times in the chest, said the local police chief, Col. José Humberto Henao.

Despite his wounds, Palacios drove back home and his family took him to a local hospital. He died two hours after arriving at San José Hospital in Cúcuta, Henao told CPJ. He did not speculate about a motive. Local police offered a reward for information leading to the capture of the gunmen.

Palacios was a controversial and outspoken journalist who devoted a segment of his program to denouncing local corruption, sources told CPJ. Local journalists said that Palacios had made enemies because of his tough talk against corruption; they said they believed the murder was connected to his work.

Palacios received anonymous threats in October 2004, sources told CPJ. The Cúcuta-based daily La Opinión said local police gave Palacios a security manual and suggested he change his daily routine.

He survived an attack nine years earlier when assailants hurled a grenade into his office that failed to explode, The Associated Press reported. Palacios was a political conservative known for supporting President Àlvaro Uribe.

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