MONTREAL, June 15 /CNW Telbec/ - Reporters Without Borders today voiced
shock and sadness in reaction to the murder yesterday of Garrid Munoz Tello,
aged 68, founder of radio La Voz del Cinaruco, who was gunned down by a man
and a woman as he drove his car in Villavicencio, in the central department of
Meta. Police quickly said they had arrested and detained two people.
"While the state of press freedom has remained highly critical in
Colombia, murders of journalists have tended to decrease in recent years," the
worldwide press freedom organisation said. "The death of Garrid Munoz Tello is
a reminder that this country is still one of the most dangerous in the world
for the press."
"Naturally, we are pleased at the immediate arrest of his suspected
killers. We very much need to know if their motives were linked to their
victim's work," it added.
The murdered journalist was a fierce critic of several local politicians
and armed groups. "Garrid Munoz Tello was never afraid to tell the truth.
Sometimes he did it with a radiant sense of humour that was typical of him,
which we will miss from now on, and sometimes much more seriously and
incisively," editorial staff at La Voz del Cinaruco told Agence France-Presse.
The headquarters of La Voz del Cinaruco is based in the eastern
department of Arauca on the border with Venezuela, which is rife with
guerrillas from the Colombian Revolutionary Armed Forces (FARC), the National
Liberation Army (ELN), currently in peace talks with the government, and
extreme-right para-militaries, which have refused to disarm.
A US Army elite commando is currently working with Colombian armed forces
in the struggle against guerrillas and to protect an oil pipeline, which
transits the area, owned by North American multinational, Occidental
Petroleum. The department is also on a notorious drugs route
Garrid Munoz Tello was the first Colombian journalist to be murdered
since the start of 2007.
For further information:
For further information: Emily Jacquard, Directrice générale, Reporters
Without Borders, (514) 521-4111, Cell: (514) 258-4208, Fax: (514) 521-7771,