Another journalist from Bajo Cauca is threatened

(Translated by Gerry Millrine, a CSN Volunteer Translator)

Source :

Friday, October 10, 2014 at 2:39 PM

Yhobán Camilo Hernández

Once again a journalist from Bajo Cauca, in Antioquia, has had to leave the area because of threats made to his life. The victim is Calixto Perez Torres, a reporter with the news program, of the town’s community radio, Caucasia al Dia. This latest case of the forced re-location of those who work in the media raises the number to two which have taken place this year in the region .

The threat against Calixto Perez was made this Thursday, 9th of August, when the journalist was at home and received a phone call which told him to leave Caucasia within twenty four hours, and said it was because he was “one of those toads from Bajo Cauca, who should no longer be seen in the region.”

This latest development raises to eight the number of those who work in the media in Bajo Cauca Noticias who have received threats this current year alone. As a result of various intimidations which took place on the 11th of August, Leyfar Bravo Hernández, a cameraman with the news programme, also had to leave the area after having received a call, giving him twenty four hours to leave; this aggressive behavior is very similar to that meted out to Calixto Perez.

In addition to the above, there should also be taken into account the case of the assassination of Luis Carlos Cervantes, who was was the director of the radio station, Morena FM in Taraza. The latter was assassinated on August 12th after the National Security Protection Unit had withdrawn its security arrangements. Cervantes had been the target of threats from 2009.

Protest at the murder of the journalist Luis Carlos Cervantes.

Stemming from this murder and the mobilization of journalists of the area and other sections of the department, headed by The Press Association of Antioquia-APA, The National Protection Unit, after various meetings, committed itself to send two sets of protection arrangements for the eight threatened journalists. However, up until now, no vehicles have arrived specifically for these arrangements have yet arrived.

This type of delay means that while the reporters await the putting in place of effective security measures, their freedom of expression remains restricted by illegal elements who also continue to make threats to silence of the press. From this stems the widespread fear among reporters who face systematic infringements of their rights because of their work in journalism.

Threats continue against the journalists of Bajo Cauca, Antioquia.

The most serious aspect of this situation is that the State has not be able to offer guarantees to the journalists to enable them to continue with their profession nor have any of the cases been brought to justice. Therefore, while those who threaten journalists are neither identified nor brought to justice, the threats will undoubtedly continue and have, in fact, become systematic in their intention to silence the press in Bajo Cauca.

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