27 April 2009
IFJ Condemns Killing of Veteran Journalist in Colombia
International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) and the Federation of Journalists
from Latin America and the Caribbean (FEPALC) have condemned the brutal murder
of journalist José Everardo Aguilar who was killed when he answered the door of
his home in the south western town of Patia, 450 kilometres
south of the capital Bogotá. He was 72 and the father of ten.
As a reporter, Aguilar worked for several radio stations such as Bolívar Estéreo and Canal Local del Bordo, as well as correspondent of Radio Súper Popayán. According to the director of Radio Súper Popayán, an unknown man came to his house and said he wanted to show him some documents and photographs. When José Everardo Aguilar asked to see them, the man drew a gun and shot him six times at close range. He died on the spot and the killer walked away and escaped.
"This is the gravest in a series of attacks against colleagues all around the country," declared Eduardo Márquez, president of the Federation of Colombian Journalists (FECOLPER), affiliate to the IFJ, and also vice president of FEPALC. "Since the beginning of the year 2009, we have now registered 40 attacks against journalists in Colombia".
The journalists of Cauca region paid tribute to the courage of Everardo Aguilar who had received continuous threats for denouncing several corruption cases in the departments of Cauca and North Nariño.
Aguilar used to answer: "They are not going to silence me".
FECOLPER said this murder is a tactic to scare and silence the press and constitutes an attack on the right of the civil society to the truth and impartial information.
The IFJ joins Colombian journalists and FEPALC in their demands for the end of this type of killings and impunity.
For further information contact IFJ on +32 2 235 2207
The IFJ represents over 600,000 journalists in 123 countries worldwide