Afrique Asie Europe Moyen-Orient Internet Nations unies
Colombia12 April 2002

Media contributor and journalist killed near Cali

The cameraman of RCN, Héctor Sandoval, died in the hospital Departamental del Valle the 12 April.

11.04.2002 - Media contributor killed, journalist wounded, near Cali

In a letter addressed to Gustavo Bell Lemus, Colombia’s Vice President and Minister of Defence, Reporters without Borders [Reporters sans frontières (RSF)] protested against shots that were fired-allegedly by the army-on a RCN Televisión network news crew. During the incident, Walter López, the driver of the vehicle, was killed, and Héctor Sandoval, the cameraman, seriously wounded. "Since some members of the military may be implicated in this attack, it is imperative that an investigation be initiated and that its results be made public as soon as possible," stated Robert Ménard, RSF’s General Secretary.

According to information gathered by RSF, a RCN Televisión news crew was shot at on 11 April 2002 on the outskirts of Cali, in the Valle department (of south-western Colombia). The team was covering the operations being carried out in the area by the army and police forces, in response to the abduction of twelve legislators by guerrillas of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC). The journalists who were attacked reported that, despite their efforts to be recognized in their professional capacity, their convoy was fired upon by the Army, which was conducting air strikes at the time. Walter López, the driver of the vehicle transporting the journalists, was killed during the incident and television cameraman Héctor Sandoval was seriously wounded. Luz Estella Arroya, RCN’s Cali correspondent, fortunately sustained no injury. Two other journalists working for the Semana weekly newspaper Semana and the El Tiempo daily, who were also on the site, also escaped injury. Although the journalists hold the military responsible for this incident, Colonel Carlos Arévalo, the commander of the army’s anti-kidnapping squad, has denied any army involvement in this assault, thereby incriminating the FARC.

In this country
15 May - Colombia
Former intelligence officials leak list of news media and journalists whose phones were tapped
28 April - Colombia
Radio reporter gunned down in Cauca department, probably in connection with his work
27 February - Colombia
Call for inter-american intervention in new phone-tap scandal
27 August - Colombia
Authorities use judicial proceedings to intimidate media
20 June - Colombia
Kidnapped journalist Mario Alfonso Puello released after four months in captivity

in the annual report
Colombia - Annual Report 2008
Colombia - Annual report 2007
Colombia - Annual report 2006

14 March 2008 - Cuba
No surrender by independent journalists, five years on from “black spring”
5 June 2007 - Venezuela
Closure of Radio Caracas Televisión consolidates media hegemony
22 May 2007 - Colombia
Paramilitary "black eagles" poised to swoop down on press

Americas press releases
3 June - United States
President Obama urged to raise freedom of expression in his Cairo speech
29 May - Venezuela
Open letter to President Hugo Chavez to protest about official hounding of Globovisión
27 May - Mexico
Crime reporter abducted and killed in Durango state
20 May - Cuba
Anyone can browse the Internet... unless they are Cuban
15 May - Cuba
Journalist gets three-year jail sentence

Americas archives
2009 archives
2008 archives
2007 archives
2006 archives
2005 archives
2004 archives
2003 archives
2002 archives
2001 archives
2000 archives

Sign the petitions
Miguel Galván Gutiérrez
Fabio Prieto Llorente
United States
Chauncey Bailey
A petition to Raúl Castro