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Journalist’s safety key focus for World Press Freedom Day

Journalists, human rights activists and government representatives are gathered this week in San José, Costa Rica for the 20th annual World Press Freedom Day. Every 3 May, UNESCO hosts a series of panels, workshops and ceremonies to evaluate global press freedom and to honour journalists who have been attacked, imprisoned or

Colombia: Rebels free French reporter

Colombian rebel group Farc has freed a French reporter, just over one month after they took him hostage. Roméo Langlois was kidnapped during a fire fight between the rebels and Colombia’s military forces on on 28 April, and has been held captive since. Langlois, a reporter for France24, had accompanied soldiers who were on a mission

Colombia: Bomb attack on minister-turned-journalist

A former interior minister-turned-journalist was targeted in a bomb attack in Colombia earlier this week. Fernando Londoño Hoyos, who is now a radio station programme director and a columnist for various newspapers, was injured after a bomb was thrown onto his car bonnet in Bogotá. Londoño survived the attack, but his driver and

Colombia: French journalist suspected kidnapped

Update 02 May 2012: Colombia’s Revolutionary Armed Forces (FARC) confirmed in a statement today that they are holding French journalist Roméo Langlois prisoner. A French television journalist injured during a clash between Colombian Army troops and members of the Revolutionary Armed Forces (FARC) has gone missing and may have been kidnapped by

Colombia: Bogota mayor accused of press censorship

A Colombian news network has accused Bogota Mayor Gustavo Petro of operating a “totalitarian” approach to the press. In a web article published on Tuesday, CM& said Petro handling of the press was on an “alarming and disturbing” slope. The allegations followed a recent press conference on a bullfighting ban, where Petro allegedly refused to

Colombia: Editor given suspended prison term

The editor of a Colombian monthly newspaper has been handed a 20-month suspended sentence and a $5,500 fine. Luis Agustín González, who is both founder and editor of Cundinamarca Democrática, was convicted of criminal libel yesterday, after he published an article critical of  local politician. In a 2008 article, González expressed his dismay that

Colombia: Former president Uribe labels journalists “terrorism sympathisers”

Following the publication of stories in the Washington Post earlier this month that allege former Colombian president Álvaro Uribe Vélez may have been involved in illegal actions using the national intelligence service with the help of the US, the former leader accused the articles’ writers of being sympathisers of terrorism and accomplices

Doused matches save Columbian journalist in petrol attack

Two men kidnapped Channel 22 director Mario Esteban López last night (6 June), tied a rope around his neck and forced him to drive to a secluded area where they poured gasoline on him. Fortunately the abductors’ matches also got covered in petrol and failed to light, a police car

Colombia: Journalists threatened by paramilitary group

Journalists and human rights groups in Colombia have received alarming threats from Aguilas Negras, an extreme right wing paramilitary group. The groups and individuals received a document signed by the “Central Command of the Black Eagles” warning them that their lives are in danger.  Aguilas Negras has targeted journalists in

Colombia: Journalist’s home firebombed

On Wednesday 16 February, an unidentified group threw a firebomb at journalist Rodolfo Zambrano’s home in Bolivar. He was unharmed as he was not there at the time. The attack caused damage to the exterior of his house, but firefighters were able to stop the flames from spreading inside. Journalists

Mexico and Colombia: Drug trafficking reporting targeted

In Mexico’s northeastern state of Sinaloa, the Noreste newspaper issued a statement saying that its facilities were the target of an armed attack on 1 September 2010. The attack took place after a reporter received a threatening phone call from unidentified members of an organised gang. They fired bullets at

Colombian journalist barred from USA under Patriot Act

Hollman Morris, an internationally-renowned Colombian journalist, has been barred from entering the United States to take up a fellowship at Harvard University. His visa application was denied after he was placed on a Patriot Act no-fly list. Morris has previously been publicly lauded by the State Department and Human Rights Watch.

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