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Colombia4 February 2002

Newspaper Managing Editor murdered

Orlando Sierra Hernández died of his wounds on 1 February. He was known for his very strong views on corruption involving politicians and other leaders in Caldas province, of which Manizales is the main city. Two suspects were arrested soon after the attack and were taken to Bogotá on 1 February for security reasons.

31.01.2002 - Newspaper Managing Editor Gravely Wounded

In a letter addressed to Rómulo González Trujillo, Colombia’s Minister of Justice, Reporters without Borders [Reporters sans frontières (RSF)] strongly condemned the assassination attempt of 30 January 2002 against Orlando Sierra Hernandez, Assistant Managing Editor of the daily newspaper, La Patria. Orlando Sierra Hernandez, who was shot several times, is now in critical condition. "Two Colombian journalists have been targetted in just one week," protested Robert Ménard. "It is imperative that those responsible for this attack be identified and brought to justice," he added. "Impunity must be rigorously contested", Ménard concluded.

According to information gathered by the RSF, Orlando Sierra Hernandez, Assistant Managing Editor of La Patria, a regional daily published in the city of Manizales (in the Caldas department of Central Colombia), was seriously wounded by gunfire as he entered the newspaper’s office building on 30 January 2002. Shot twice in the head, Orlando Sierra Hernandez is now in critical condition. His assaillant has been arrested but his identity and the reasons for the assault are still unknown. Orlando Sierra Hernandez is, however, known for his investigative reports on corruption.

Reporters without Borders had already condemned the murder of Marco Antonio Ayala Cárdenas, a photographer with the El Caleño daily newspaper, who was shot to death on 23 January 2002.

More than forty Colombian journalists have been killed in the line of duty since 1991-victims of the civil war and endemic violence that has been permeating the country.

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