Afrique Asie Europe Moyen-Orient Internet Nations unies
 
Colombia13 March 2003

Death of Oscar Salazar Jaramillo appears unrelated to work

Details that have emerged about the circumstances of the death of Oscar Salazar Jaramillo, 74, the owner and manager of Radio Sevilla in the southwestern town of Sevilla (Valle del Cauca department), suggest that the motives were personal, or that it was the work of a common criminal. Salazar was found dead on the morning of 10 March in the bedroom of the apartment where he had lived for the past six years, located in the same building as Radio Sevilla.

According to the public prosecutor in charge of the investigation, Salazar was found naked on his bed, surrounded by liquor bottles. He had been stabbed to death with a kitchen knife. There was no sign that his apartment had been broken into, or that anything was stolen. He was found by his cousin Rafael Salazar Vélez, the radio station’s deputy director. According to a station employee, his cousin had been with him in his apartment the previous evening, together with the radio station’s driver, having several drinks. They left the apartment at about 8 p.m.

The investigating judge assigned to the case said the motive for the murder was not clear. He pointed out that the number of murders in Sevilla was growing and that since the beginning of the year there have been a total of 23, although the town has only 65,000 inhabitants. In most of these murders, the perpetrators have not been identified.

A family member described Salazar as a "controversial figure who was very critical of local politicians." In his radio editorial every Saturday, called "Sevilla en 7 dias," he often singled out the mayor, municipal councillors and the departmental government for criticism. On the hand, he never broached the subject of the armed groups present in the surrounding rural areas. He was also a lawyer, working with a law firm in Cali.


03.11.2003 - Murder of journalist and radio station owner

Reporters Without Borders today voiced its deep concern about the murder of radio journalist Oscar Salazar Jaramillo, who was found stabbed to death in his home in Sevilla, in Valle del Cauca department (350 km. southwest of Bogotá), in the early hours of yesterday (10 March).

"We urge you to do everything possible to ensure that the motives for this murder are established and that those responsible are identified and punished," Reporters Without Borders secretary-general Robert Ménard said in a letter to state prosecutor Luis Camilo Osorio.

According to data compiled by Reporters Without Borders, five journalists and media assistants were killed in 2002, about 60 were abducted, threatened or physically attacked, more than 20 were forced to flee the country or the region where they lived and worked, and there were eight attacks or attempted attacks with explosives.

The local authorities said Salazar was stabbed to death while resting in his home. They did not say if they were aware of any threats against him. Salazar was the owner and manager of Radio Sevilla, a radio station which he founded in 1954 and which was affiliated to Radio Caracol. He presented a weekly programme of local news, "Sevilla en 7 días," in which he had reported cases of embezzlement within the local municipal government.

He had himself held several posts in the municipal government and chamber of commerce. In the 1970s, he was also a parliamentarian for the Popular National Alliance (ANAPO).



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


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