(Bogotá, Colombia) Journalist and publicist José Bonilla Romero was shot in the head by two unknown gunmen hiding in the interior of his residence in Cali, last October 12 at 9:40 pm.
Although at first the police assured the crime was perpetrated by guerrilla, after they stated it had been the reaction of burglars that had been surprised inside the apartment of the journalist’s brother.
However, due to the awkward silence from authorities and media organizations on this case, a version gathered from several colleagues began taking shape: Bonilla was the victim of an attack against the of Spain in that city, Mario de Ayala.
The journalists and owner of publicity agency JB, flew from Bogotá to Cali to attend a social event organized by the diplomat. When they were coming back to Ayala’s residence they were surprised by two unknown gunmen – one of them was a black man – and the attackers yelled: “That’s him”. The diplomat’s wife and Bonilla’s sister struggled with one of the attackers, taking off one of their hoods and several shots were heard.
Another version states the attackers were inside a house with the lights off and another says everything occurred near the front gate, in an exclusive neighborhood of mansions and ranches where the safety measures are evident.
Although José Bonilla, 62, was working on the publicity of his own firm at the time, he was the founder of the disappeared Association of Foreign Press, and member of the Circle of Journalists of Bogotá and the Press Club. In 1975 he was Secretary to the Mayor’s office of Bogotá.
Bonilla’s funeral services were held in Bogotá last October 18. On that same day, journalists and lawyers wrote a letter to the Nation’s Attorney General to carry out an adequate investigation to clear up the case of the fourth Colombian journalist killed this year.
Center of Solidarity
International Federation of Journalists