IFJ Denounces Threats against Popular Colombian Journalist

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) today denounced death threats against well known Colombian journalist, Herbin Hoyos, who has been forced to seek refuge in Europe following a suspicious accident involving his bodyguards in the north of the Colombian capital, Bogotá.

Famous by his work over 18 years on Radio Caracol's programme Las Voces del Secuestro (The voices of the kidnapped), Herbin Hoyos has won several international prizes because of his broadcast of testimonies from families of hostages abducted by the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC). Some of these hostages, including the French Colombian Ingrid Betancourt, declared after their liberation that Hoyos' programme sustained them during captivity.   

"We strongly condemn the threats against Herbin Hoyos and those who make them, whether be the FARC as it seems, or whoever else," said Paco Audije, Deputy Secretary General of the IFJ: "The exile forced on this popular Colombian colleague deeply saddens us as it reminds us of the price paid by journalists in Colombia and in other parts of Latin America to fight censorship." 

According to reports, Herbin himself once was a hostage of FARC for 17 days in March 1993. As a reporter, he has also covered many international conflicts.

From his exile in Madrid, the journalist intends to continue broadcasting his weekly program Las Voces del Secuestro and  is also planning to lead a convoy of motorbikes around some European countries to highlight the practice of hostage taking by the FARC which continues  in the Colombian jungle.

The IFJ says that Herbin has survived previous attempts on his life like many Colombian journalists who put their lives on the line every day to defend a pluralist and free journalism.

For more information contact the IFJ at             +32 2 235 2207       

The IFJ represents over 600,000 journalists in 123 countries worldwide