Fundación para la Libertad de Prensa - FLIP

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Por: Daniela Vidal – Fundación para la Libertad de Prensa (FLIP)

The town of San Pablo, Bolivar woke to celebrate the festivity of the Virgen del Carmen in the early morning of July 16, 2001. And in those early morning hours three bullets killed journalist Eduardo Estrada Gutierrez, and with him, the possibility of a community radio station for a town who lived in the crossfire of an armed conflict.

By: Laura Puentes - Translated by: Daniela Vidal - Fundación para la Libertad de Prensa (FLIP)

2002 hit the Colombian press hard. The Foundation for Press Freedom (FLIP) registered 11 killings of journalists. Alvaro Uribe’s government could not stop crimes against the national and international press. Sadly, one county with the most extensive African palm fields, Sabana Torres, Santander witnessed how one of its journalists became another statistic for the Committee to Protect Journalists that placed Colombia as the second most dangerous country in the world to practice journalism.

The Foundation for Freedom of the Press (FLIP) has insistently said cases regarding violence against journalists should not be prolonged. There have been a number of cases where delays in the judicial process have diminished the integrity of the evidence and the time the judge should have to evaluate it.

The Foundation for Freedom of the Press (FLIP) denounces the threats and aggressions Jose David Martinez, a graphic designer for Barrancabermeja’s press office, received on July 7 in the Lagos del Palmar neighborhood and wants others to be aware of the difficulties the press has covering that part of the city.

The nation’s Attorney General, Eduardo Montealegre, discussed the advances in the ongoing investigation of the explosions on July 2 in Bogota. He said the video, audio and cameras citizens have of are evidence, and thus “this type of material--video, audio and photos--can only be turned in to competent authorities, such as the Attorney’s General Office or the police. Turning this material in to persons besides the Judicial Police is prohibited. If citizens or companies hand over this kind of material to non-authority figures, they may be participating in actions that are punishable with time in prison.”

Tomorrow, June 24, 2015 the trial against the ex-director of the Administrative Security Department (DAS) José Miguel Narváez and the ex DAS intelligence directors Giancarlo Auqué de Silvestri and Enrique Alberto Ariza Rivas, the latter two are fugitives of justice.

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