Afrique Asie Europe Moyen-Orient Internet Nations unies
Colombia25 October 2007

Photographer and assistant gunned down in Cali for as yet unclear reasons

Reporters Without Borders is deeply shocked by the murders of freelance photographer Carlos Alberto Jaramillo and his assistant, Julio César García, who were shot dead while driving in their car near the southwestern city of Cali on 21 October.

The motive for this double-killing has not been established but, after a wave of forced departures of journalists in what is one of the more dangerous countries for the media, the organisation fears this could represent a further deterioration in press freedom.

“We offer our condolences to the families and friends of the two photographers, and our thoughts go out to the Association of Journalists of Quindío, of which Jaramillo was a member,” Reporters Without Borders said. “We hope the investigation leads quickly to the identification and punishment of those responsible.”

The organisation added: “Although the motive for their murders has not yet been determined, it raises fears of new attacks on the media, which have already been weakened by the forced departures of several journalists.”

Jaramillo, 50, and García, 43, were on their way from Armenia to Cali to cover a bicycle race when one or more persons opened fire on their car. Jaramillo was hit in the head and chest, and died instantly. García was hit in the left eye and died after being taken to Joaquim Paz Borrero hospital.

The father of four children, Jaramillo worked for four regional newspapers including La Crónica del Quindío and Q’hubo Nuestro Diario. He concentrated on covering sports and some social issues. He had in the past worked in Israel for 10 years.

The Valle del Cauca departmental police told Reporters Without Borders they did not think the murders were linked to the victims’ work as journalists. A friend of Jaramillo, Armenia-based journalist José J. Domínguez, said Jaramillo “survived by taking photos and, for this reason, would not have taken the risk of covering any unusual [crime organisation] stories.” Jaramillo’s family told Reporters Without Borders he had not received any threats.

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