Afrique Asie Europe Moyen-Orient Internet Nations unies
Colombia30 May 2005

FARC guerrillas continue to blow up radio and TV antennae

Reporters Without Borders wrote to Colombia’s communications minister today voicing support for a request by Gabriel Morales, the manager of the privately-owned radio station Latina Estéreo 91.3 FM, for the authorities to rebuild its transmitter in Puerto Asís (in the southern department of Putumayo) in different, protected location after it was blown up for a second time on 25 May.

The press freedom organization also urged the authorities to "deal with the problem more globally by offering to protect the installations of radio stations in the Calí region if they so request."

The letter continued: "The deliberate destruction of a news media’s installations is a direct violation of press freedom if it is done with the intention of depriving the public of its right to be informed. This has become common practice in the south of Colombia and must be brought to a stop as quickly as possible."

Reporters Without Borders added: "The authorities have a duty to deploy all available resources to ensure that journalists can work freely and without fear."

Latina Estéreo 91.3 FM was attacked for the first time on 13 February when two explosions destroyed its antenna and other equipment. The station was forced off the air for two weeks and its journalists have been working in a climate of tension ever since.

A car-bomb wrecked 70 per cent the building housing the RCN radio and television stations in the city of Cali on 20 February. The Marxist guerrillas of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) claimed responsibility for the attack four days later.

The television broadcasts of RCN and Caracol, another privately-owned TV network, went off the air in much of Putumayo department following an attack on a joint relay station near the locality of Mocoa on 2 March.

And on 13 March, a bomb near the town of Florencia (in the southern department of Caquetá) destroyed an antenna used jointly by local radio stations Cristalina Estéreo and Espléndida Estéreo, reducing the area their signals reach.

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