Colombia: Press freedom and crimes against journalists

  Eduardo Bertoni, of the Press Freedom Section of the Interamerican Court of Human Rights denounced the fact that the vast majority of 120 crimes against journalists in the past 14 years remain in impunity.
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Following a recent visit to the country, his report also warned of the strong climate of self-censorship by journalists, especially in provincial areas, where journalists realise that they cannot publish information about certain topics for fear of reprisals. The ICHR report also highlighted the fact that even civil government authorities throughout the country had complained that the press, civil society and the population in general were unable to participate in public debates and report news through fear of armed groups and corrupt officials. Bertoni’s report also drew attention to the slow nature of investigations into the murder of journalists.

Reporters Without Frontiers, also released a report to mark Press Freedom Day, which stated that Colombia is one of only two countries in Latin America where there is no press freedom. Last year in Colombia, 2 journalists were murdered, 3 kidnapped, 28 injured and 25 threatened. The report stated that an average of 5 journalists were murdered every year in Colombia.

The Committee for the Protection of Journalists rated Colombia as the third most dangerous country in the world in which to practice journalism after the Philippines and Iraq. According to the CPJ, 85% of killings against journalists in Colombia since 2000, have remained in total impunity.

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