Community radio station in Tiquisio, Colombia receives paramilitary threaat

IFEX – News from the international freedom of expression community


23 April 2008

Community radio organizer, previously smeared by army, receives new
paramilitary death threat

SOURCE: The World Association of Community Radio Broadcasters, (AMARC)

(AMARC/IFEX) – New death threats against social media communicators,
religious leaders and members of social organisations in the Middle
Magdalena (Magdalena Medio) region in the southern area of Bolívar
department, have been denounced in a 21 April 2008 joint press release by
several social, religious and human rights organisations.

The new threat, received by e-mail on19 April, was signed by the "Aguilas
Negras" (Black Eagles), a wing of the northern block of the Autodefensas
Unidas de Colombia paramilitary group. The threat said, "from today
forward, consider yourselves dead guerrillas, you sons of bitches; ask the
media to save you, you sons of bitches of anarchists, you bunch of bandits
of the FARC and the ELN." (Ed.note: the Revolutionary Armed Forces of
Colombia (Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia, FARC) and the
National Liberation Army (Ejercito de Liberación Nacional, ELN) are
Colombia’s two largest guerrilla groups.)

The social and religious organisations’ press release noted that one of
those mentioned in the new paramilitary threat, Fr. Rafael Gallego, who is
in charge of Eco de Tiquisio community radio station, "has been the target
of persistent smears and persecution by members of the Nariño battalion of
the National Army (Batallón Nariño del Ejército Nacional), about which the
Office of the Prosecutor General (Fiscalía General de la Nación), Attorney
General’s Office (Procuraduría General de la Nación) and the national
government have all been informed."

The cosignatories to the joint press release asked the Colombian
authorities to investigate the threats and punish those responsible, "given
the gravity and persistence of these threats, in which people that will be
the target of attacks are individually identified," and to "adopt prompt,
serious and effective measures, to be agreed upon with those in danger, in
order to protect the lives, physical safety and freedom of the people and
organisations affected by these threats."

Updates the Gallego case: <http:///>

For further information, contact Gustavo Gómez, Director, Communication
Rights and Legislation Programme, AMARC Latin America and the Caribbean
(AMARC-LAC), Luis de la Peña 484 Ap.2, 11900 Montevideo, Uruguay, tel: +598
2 309 2824, +598 99 660373, e-mail: <http:///> , Internet: <http:///>

The information contained in this update is the sole responsibility of
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Colombia Support Network

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                Madison, WI  53701-1505
                phone:  (608) 257-8753
                fax:  (608) 255-6621

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