Two journalists assassinated in the province of Caqueta in less than two weeks
(RSF/IFEX) - In a letter to Attorney General Alfonso Gomez Méndez, RSF expressed extreme preoccupation over the assassination of Alfredo Abad, regional news direction for La Voz de la Selva, a programme on Radio Caracol radio station in Florencia (department of Caqueta, southern region of the country). He was the second journalist to be killed in the region in the last two weeks. On 1 December 2000, Guillermo Leon Agudalo, also a journalist with La Voz de la Selva, was killed in his home. Robert Menard, secretary-general of RSF, called on the attorney general to "do everything in his power to uncover the motives of this murder and identify the perpetrators of the crime. RSF asks to be informed about the progress of the investigation." The international organisation also noted its concern over the "repeated press freedom violations in Colombia which have resulted in 38 journalists being kidnapped in 1998, eight fleeing the country since the beginning of 2000, six being killed in 1999 and the details surrounding two of those murders never being uncovered." RSF asked Gomez Méndez to "use his influence in every way possible to end impunity for perpetrators of crimes against journalists".
According to information obtained by RSF, Abad, who had been La Voz de la Selva's regional director of information since 1998, was murdered on 13 December by two men on a motorbike, while he was exiting his house. Abad, 36, was married and the father of two children.
On 1 December, Leon Agudelo, another journalist with La Voz de la Selva, was stabbed in his home by individuals who appeared to be common criminals, and who allegedly entered his house in order to steal money from him.