Colombia - No known motive in photographer's murder in Cucuta



    MONTREAL, Dec. 21 /CNW Telbec/ - Reporters Without Borders is deeply
shocked by the fatal shooting of Rafael Bruno, 76, a photographer with the
regional daily La Opinion, on 19 December in the northeastern city of Cucuta.
The organisation extends its condolences to the victim's colleagues.
    "We join La Opinion's staff in mourning Bruno, who had no wife or
children," the press freedom organisation said. "The department of Norte de
Santander, where he lived and worked, has many paramilitaries and drug
traffickers but the kind of work Bruno did was not likely to have made him a
target. We hope the investigation will identify the motive. But first the
murderer or murderers must be found."
    Bruno's body was found in his Cucuta home after neighbours called the
police. A revolver was found beside the body, suggesting it might have been
suicide. But the police also found five spent shells and yesterday's autopsy
established from the trajectory of the shot to the head that killed him that
it could not have been suicide.
    No theories have yet been developed about the motive. His colleagues at
La Opinion say he had not received any threats. He usually covered stories
that were not at all sensitive, such as beauty competitions. The most recent
sensitive subject he had covered was the demobilisation of the Bloc Catatumbo
- a wing of the paramilitary alliance known as the United Self-Defence Groups
of Colombia (AUC) - in Tibu at the end of 2004. The newspaper has not received
any serious threats in recent months.
    Bruno was also the owner of a brickyard and an ice plant. He was a member
of both the Cucuta Association of Journalists and the Colombian Association of
Small-Scale Industrialists (Acopi). His only relatives are a sister and a
nephew living in Venezuela. His funeral took place today in Cucuta.




For further information:

For further information: Emily Jacquard, secretary general, Reporters
Without Borders Canada, (514) 521-4111, Cell: (514) 258-4208, Fax: (514)
521-7771, rsfcanada@rsf.org

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