FIJ and FECOLPER Condemn Brutal Murder of Journalist in Colombia

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) and its Colombian affiliate, the Federation of Colombian Journalist (FECOLPER), have condemned the brutal assassination of journalist Luis Antonio Peralta on February 14 2015, by two alleged hitmen. The victim, renowned for his criticism of the authorities, has announced his candidature for the municipal elections in his town, El Doncello.

According to FECOLPER's announcement, Luis Antonio Peralta, who was the chairperson and owner of radio station Linsa Stereo in El Doncello, Caquetá's department, was shot three times by two alleged hitmen. His spouse, Sofia Quintero, was also shot during the attack.

The couple was sitting on the balcony of their house, which is also the radio's headquarters, when two men on a motorbike opened fire at them on Saturday around 5 pm.

Staff at the station reported that Peralta was not only communicating information about the impact of mineral-energy and hydrocarbon companies on the community, but he was also verifying investments in infrastructural works. He also reported on alleged corruption acts in municipal administrations and amongst managers of public broadcasting companies.

"Recently, Peralta told us about his intention to stand for the election of El Doncello's mayor, thus rallying the centre democratic party", said a journalist from Caquetá. IFJ supported FECOLPER’s president, Adriana Hurtado’s statement on the killing and declared: "We condemn this latest crime and urge the authorities to consider the possibility that the killing could be linked to the victim's activity. We further call on the country's public prosecutor to track down the perpetrators as well as those who ordered the murder.

Colonel Willam Alberto Boyacá, Chief of Caquetá's Police department, told FECOLPER that videos of security cameras will be examined again and that a reward of 50m Colombian Pesos will be granted for information about the perpetrators' motives and identity.

The attack took place a few days after the FECOLPER released its annual report on violations of the right to press freedom which denounced the worrying infringements of journalists' rights in Colombia.


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