Fundación para la Libertad de Prensa - FLIP

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Vanegas was detained while he was covering the protests in which participated workers and students in May 1 of this year in the city of Medellín. According to the information recollected by FLIP, the journalists realized that the police ambush a student’s group while they were making a graphic recording. After that, some of the police members were approached to them, in that moment Vanegas was thrown to the floor and punched until he was carried to the “tanqueta” (tanker)  of the ESMAD (Mobile Riot Squad)  in which he was led to the Prosecution.

On Wednesday 19 February 2014, Yonni Steven Caicedo was killed while travelling through the Caldas neighbourhood in Buenaventura, Valle de Cauca. Just after 5 p.m., Caicedo, who was 21, was shot by two people while he was on a personal errand. 

Photograph taken from: Pyramid Magazine (Revista Pirámide)

In Colombia, in 2013, in a 90 days period, more than 40 attacks against journalists covering social protests were recorded. This shows that during the demonstrations, communicators faced several risks, such as being physically assaulted, being arrested, and even being killed.

On 16 October 2013, journalist Gonzalo Guillén decided to leave Colombia because of death threats he received. Guillén was one of four people who were the targets of a plan to kill a group of journalists and researchers over investigations they had done. 

Around 7p.m. on 11 September 2013, Édison Alberto Molina was killed on his way home, after leaving the community radio station where he hosted the programme "Consultorio Jurídico" ("The Legal Office"). 

Molina was a lawyer and worked at the station Puerto Berrio Stereo every Wednesday, where he would help solve legal questions from listeners. According to the Fundación para la Libertad de Prensa (FLIP), he also made statements on air about administrative corruption and told his audience about visits that financial authorities, such as the comptroller, were making in certain areas of the city. 

Fifteen days before his death, Molina's office was stoned and he received threatening calls in response to statements he had made on his show, according to FLIP research. 

After the murder, authorities named a security council to investigate the incident. They have also offered 20 million pesos (approx. US$ 10,400) for information leading to the arrests of those responsible. 

FLIP calls on police and the public prosecutor's office to continue the investigations and determine what took place as soon as possible.

Translated by IFEX.

 

FLIP (Fundación para la Libertad de Prensa) is concerned about a plot against independent journalist Gonzalo Guillén, León Valencia, a columnist with Semana magazine, and Ariel Avila, an independent researcher. 

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