Guillermo León Agudelo

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Dangerous Assignments   |   Colombia

Untold Stories

Threatened on all sides, Colombia's news media muzzle themselves.

Alerts   |   Colombia


New York, July 11, 2001—In a tragic week for the Colombian press, three local broadcast journalists have been murdered in the violence-plagued country since July 4. CPJ is investigating all three deaths to determine whether the journalists were killed because of their work.

"In the interests of press freedom and simple justice, CPJ will investigate possible motives behind all murders of journalists in Colombia," said executive director Ann Cooper. "We urge all sides in the civil war to refrain from these senseless attacks on the press."

Attacks on the Press   |   Colombia

Attacks on the Press 2000: Colombia

IN A DEVASTATING YEAR FOR COLOMBIA, journalists were murdered, assaulted, threatened, and kidnapped. Many fled into exile. With the peace process that began in 1999 largely moribund, a nearly four-decade conflict that pits two major leftist guerrilla groups against the army and right-wing paramilitary forces continued to escalate throughout the year. All the warring factions targeted journalists.

Three journalists were killed in reprisal for their work in 2000, according to CPJ research. CPJ continues to investigate the cases of four more Colombian journalists whose violent deaths last year may have been related to their professional work.

Alerts   |   Colombia

Two journalists murdered

Bogotá, December 14, 2000 --- Early yesterday morning, two men on a motorcycle killed radio journalist Alfredo Abad López as he was saying goodbye to his wife outside their home in the southern Colombian city of Florencia.

December 14, 2000 12:00 PM ET



Alfredo Abad López

Abad, director of La Voz de la Selva (Voice of the Jungle), a local affiliate of the national Caracol radio network, was killed by two gunmen on a motorcycle early in the morning as he was saying goodbye to his wife outside their home in the southern Colombian city of Florencia.

His murder came two weeks after a colleague, Guillermo León Agudelo, was stabbed to death by two men who had forced their way into his home.

Florencia police chief Col. Henry Calderón told CPJ that Abad, 36, was sitting in his car talking to his wife at 5:50 a.m. when two men drove up on a red motorcycle and fired a volley of bullets at point-blank range from a 9mm semiautomatic pistol and a .38 revolver. He was hit by at least four shots in the stomach, chest, and head.

Florencia, in southern Caquetá province, is a former stronghold of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), a Marxist guerrilla organization. More recently, the town has become a power base for an anti-Communist paramilitary group linked to Carlos Castaño's United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia (AUC).

Abad had been director of Voz de la Selva for the last two years, according to a colleague. Previously, he worked as a reporter for RCN, a rival radio network. Local sources concurred that paramilitary gunmen had murdered Abad because of his work as a journalist, although the suggested motives differed.

One source told CPJ that Abad was probably killed for investigating the murder of his colleague Agudelo. But according to the local Foundation for Press Freedom (FLIP), various local sources attributed the killing to Abad's most recent broadcast, which discussed the government's decision to cede a Switzerland-sized chunk of territory to the FARC. The station had been threatened by the paramilitaries on two occasions a year earlier, FLIP reported.

December 13, 2000 12:00 AM ET


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