After two aggressions against journalists in the department of Huila in less than a week, the Center of Solidarity of the International Federation of Journalists (Ceso-FIP), called on illegal armed groups to cease harassing the press.
“The warriors of every ideology have to understand the journalists’ obligation is to inform society, which means bringing to the light information and events that many want to be kept hidden. In the same manner, just as we have paid a high price sacrificing many lives when denouncing corruption cases, it is also our ethical duty to disclose the excesses against the population”, said Eduardo Márquez, Ceso-FIP director.
In one of the cases, the magnitude of harassments and threats obligated a radio journalist to abandon her job and home to find shelter in another region of the country.
Last weekend, another colleague was forced to hand over his camera, recorder, cell phone, and wallet with all his documents, identification papers and money. The colleague had been previously approached by an alleged guerilla fighter who told him the intentions of FARC were to deliver evidence on the health condition of four kidnapped individuals: the ex presidential candidate, Ingrid Betancourt – who is said to be suffering asthma and an infection-; congressman of Nariño, Luís Eladio Pérez; Consuelo González from Huila and a sub officer of the National Army.
“On behalf of more than 500.000 journalists affiliated to the International Federation of Journalists in more than 120 countries, I call on armed groups to end the threats against colleagues, allow them to return with their families and to their jobs and that the material taken away is returned, as a gesture of good will towards the Colombian and international press”, concluded Márquez.
Center of Solidarity