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Thursday, 01 August 2013

Two journalists attacked, one killed in Colombia

Jesús Gómez García shot dead in front of radio station 

By: Hernando Montoya, IPI Contributor

Colombians protest behind photos of people killed by violence in the Colombian armed conflict during a march for peace in Bogotá, April 9, 2013. REUTERS/José Miguel Gómez.

VIENNA, Aug 1, 2013 – The International Press Institute (IPI) today called on Colombian authorities to thoroughly investigate two recent brutal attacks on journalists.

On July 29, Jesús Nadin Gómez García, manager of Radio Guadalajara, died after being shot twice in the face by unknown assailants as he entered his station in the city of Buga, Valle del Cauca department.  According to local reports, witnesses claimed that Gómez ran to the station calling for help, desperately knocking on the station’s door moments before the murder.

At the time of the crime, Gómez had just made a substantial withdrawal of funds at a bank, which has led local authorities to believe that the motive of the murder may have been related to robbery.  Nonetheless, police have stated that they will not discard the possibility that the motive may have been related to Gómez’s journalistic work.  Goméz conducted a program at Radio Guadalajara in which local residents voiced their opinion and complaints about a variety of matters.

IPI calls for authorities to thoroughly investigate the killing of Goméz and to seriously consider the possibility that the victim was targeted for his work as a journalist.

In a separate incident, according to Agencia de Prensa Rural (Rural Press Agency), Fred Nuñez, a journalist at Colectivo Brecha, was seriously injured while covering a protest in the city of Tibú, North Santander department, on July 27.  Nuñez was allegedly struck by a stun grenade thrown by riot police, which caused major facial trauma and led him to be airlifted to a hospital in the city of Cúcuta.

 
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