IFJ Condemns Murder of Journalist in Colombia and Warns Against ‘Culture of Impunity’

The International Federation of Journalists today condemned the murder of a radio journalist in northern Colombia and warned against a “culture of impunity” in the region.

On 11 November, Zully Ester Codina Pérez who hosted the "Entérese" opinion programme, broadcast every Saturday on Radio Rodadero Todelar was killed in the city of Santa Marta, in the department of Magdalena. Two hitmen riding a motorcycle ambushed her and shot her four times.

“The safety of journalists working in this part of the world has to be protected in order to avoid creating a culture of impunity in this region,” said White. “Colombia has developed into one of the most dangerous areas in the world for journalists in which many journalists confront high-risk situations without proper training.”

Between 22 to 24 October this year, a security seminar for Colombian journalists organised by FLIP and the Colombian umbrella press freedom organization, Proyecto Antonio Narino took place in Paipa, Colombia. This initiative was supported by International Media Support (IMS), the International News Safety Institute (INSI) and the IFJ and also included the participation of Centurion Risk Assessment Services, Ltd, and the Committee to Protect Journalists. The topics included risk evaluation, pre-field planning, an introduction to emergency first aid, and self-protection strategies. The seminar also included a discussion about the phenomenon of trauma and how it affects journalists who cover conflicts, natural disasters and acts of violence

Codina Pérez is now the eight journalist to be killed this year alone, in a country that has witnessed the deaths of over 100 journalists in the past ten years. The IFJ urges the authorities to investigate this crime and to punish those responsible.

“The fact that Codina Pérez had more than 25 years experience in the field and according to reports had not received any specific death threats, only highlights the vital role of safety training for journalists living in areas of sustained risk,” said White.

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The IFJ represents over 500,000 journalists in more than 100 countries