Afrique Asie Europe Moyen-Orient Internet Nations unies
 
Colombia28 April 2009

Radio reporter gunned down in Cauca department, probably in connection with his work

Reporters Without Borders urges the authorities to shed all possible light on the murder of José Everardo Aguilar, a reporter for the privately-owned regional radio stations Radio Super and Bolívar Estéreo, who was gunned down in his home in El Bordo, a town in the southwestern department of Cauca, on 24 April.

“We offer our most sincere condolences to Everardo’s family,” Reporters Without Borders said. “The motive has yet to be established but the police should give priority to the possibility that it was linked to his work as he had accused certain local authorities of corruption. The investigation should also aim to explain why the departmental government had failed to react to the threats he had received.”

The gunman, an apparent contract killer, entered Everardo’s home on the evening of 24 April on the pretext of bringing him information and photos. Once inside, he shot Everardo three times, killing him instantly.

Very popular in the Cauca region, Everardo had often talked on the air about alleged corruption cases involving the departmental government. One of his sons told journalists that he had received threats, but the local authorities denied knowing anything about them.

President Alvaro Uribe offered a reward of 50 million pesos (16,300 euros) to anyone who helps to track down the murderer. Reporters Without Borders cautions against any recourse to “parallel justice” in regions where gun law prevails.

Everardo’s murder coincided with two other serious cases of violence against journalists in a part of the country that is prey to drug traffickers and armed groups. Gustavo Alvarez Gardeazabal, journalist of the programme “La Luciérnaga” on the privately-owned national radio station Caracol Radio, was kidnapped by six gunmen at his home in Tulúa (in the western department of Valle del Cauca) on 24 April and, under threat, was forced to hand over recordings, archives and computer material.

A surveillance camera recorded the presence of an army vehicle near the scene of the kidnapping. “The military high command and the defence ministry must comply with all requests from the judicial officials investigating this case,” Reporters Without Borders said.

The next day, a gunmen shot and wounded Hugo Cuartas as he left the local TV station where he was presenting a musical programme in the west central town of Mañizales, Agence France-Presse reported. He underwent an operation for the gun-shot injury he received to an arm.



In this country
15 May - Colombia
Former intelligence officials leak list of news media and journalists whose phones were tapped
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
18 June - Colombia
Magazine editor beaten, threatened at gunpoint after covering paramilitary links

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


reports
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
archives

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
Cuba
Miguel Galván Gutiérrez
Cuba
Fabio Prieto Llorente
United States
Chauncey Bailey
A petition to Raúl Castro