Colombian Federation of Journalists condemns aggression of students against El Nuevo Dia daily

The event which began as a peaceful protest of professors and students in the city of Ibagué and took part in the national mobilizations throughout the country, generated acts of vandalism against the offices of El Nuevo Día daily.

Around noon, when protests against a proposed law of transferences to shift financial sources of the nation to the regions were coming to an end at Manuel Murillo Toro park, at least 200 students of the University of Tolima and other institutions, gathered outside el Nuevo Día and shouted the daily was “sensationalist” and “facist pro uribe”.

The students did not allow the workers of the daily to exit and threw rocks and other sharp objects against El Nuevo Día offices.

Due to the serious circumstances, senior directives of El Nuevo Día proposed to dialogue with the protesters, but the violent students refused.

This is the second aggression El Nuevo Día has faced in just one week. Last Tuesday, the journalists working for the daily and covering an assembly of students and government authorities, were violently approached by university students and forced to erase the photographies taken of the event.

“This type of acts of vandalism, just deliver one result: this expression of intolerance harms the cause behind the protest.  We call on these students to remind them journalists are simply the messengers and many times it’s those same reporters who inform on the abuses committed against the student movement”, said Eduardo Márquez, President of the Colombian Federation of Journalists.

“Now, to obligate a colleague to erase photographies with threats, puts these future professionals at the same level of the enemies of press freedom in Colombia who use their force to silence the voices that are denouncing their abuses. For all these reasons, we condemn this latest aggression against journalism and call for reflection”, concluded Márquez .

Center of Solidarity of the International Federation of Journalists, Ceso-FIP