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