Clodomiro Castilla, 49, publisher of Colombia’s El Pulso del Tiempo newspaper—known for his exposés of official corruption and paramilitary terror—was shot dead by unknown gunmen in an attack on his home in the city of Montería, Córdoba department. Castilla had received death threats in recent months, after having testified in court that officials from the ruling party of President Alvaro Uribe had contacts to the outlawed paramilitary groups. He had been given police protection, but it was withdrawn shortly before the shooting. Castilla had also been arrested numerous times on drug and theft charges that his defenders claimed were fabricated. Last year, seven journalists were murdered in Colombia.
Announcing a 50 million peso reward for information leading to the arrest of the attackers the following day, President Uribe said: “It pains me greatly to inform the country that assassins, sicarios, last night assassinated in the city of Montería the journalist Clodomiro Castilla… I have directed the Ministry of Defense, the Naitonal Police, the army to work with the Fiscalía [public prosecutor] and make every effort to see that this crime does not meet with impunity.” (El Pais, Cali, El Tiempo, Bogotá, EFE, March 21; DPA, March 20)