Colombia: indigenous journalist assassinated

Indigenous journalist Mauricio Moreno Medina, founding member of a community radio station for the Pijao people, was murdered April 11 by unknown assailants at his home in the town of Ortega, Tolima department. Medina, 50, died of multiple knife wounds. Police say they see no link to illegal armed groups, asserting that Moreno had not received any death threats. But Reporters Without Borders (RWB) suggest that the murder was not a “crime of passion” as police maintain. “The label ‘crime of passion’ is too often used to avoid investigation of any link with the victim’s work, even to the extent of covering up a case. This has already happened in several other murders of journalists in Colombia,” RWB said. “As a director of a community radio, the kind of media often targeted by the authorities, particularly in conflict areas, Medina ran risks as a result of his work.”

Medina is the second journalist to be murdered in Colombia in two months. Pulso del Tiempo magazine editor and radio reporter Clodomiro Castilla Ospina was shot March 19 in Córdoba department. He had recently testified in the trial of two lawmakers accused of collaborating with the Black Eagles paramilitary network. (Colombia Reports, RWB, April 13; RWB, March 22)

See our last posts on Colombia and the paramilitary terror

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    1. False dilemma on Colombia
      Denonstrably untrue. There are vigorous civil movements in Colombia that support neither the drug lords, the FARC or the government. The above journalists gave their lives to support this independent political space.