A senior Colombian investigative journalist has survived an assassination attempt, his employer Semana said Thursday.
The renowned weekly announced the assassination attempt on its investigations chief, Ricardo Calderon, on Twitter.
Ricardo Calderón, periodista de @revistasemana, salió ileso luego de sufrir un atentado en Ibagué. Autoridades investigan.
— Revista Semana (@RevistaSemana) May 2, 2013
The journalist survived the attempt despite having been shot by unknown assailants five times while traveling from the capital Bogota to the central Colombian city of Ibague.
According to Semana, the attack was carried out Wednesday evening at 7PM while Calderon was approaching a toll post near the town of Fusagasuga.
“Two men stepped out of a van and called him by his name. Then they shot at his car,” Semana director Alejandro Santos told RCN Radio.
While his magazine pointed out the attack was carried out only miles from the Tolemaida military base, which several times had been the subject of Calderon’s published investigations, Santos refused to point the finger.
“We don’t dare to point out anyone in particular,” he said, adding that Calderon “has been confronted with very dangerous people because of his publications.”
Following the attack, the director of the National Protection Unit — a state entity in charge of the protection of threatened citizens — vowed to be offering protection to the journalist. Director Andres Villamizar said Calderon was not receiving state protection because neither the journalist nor his employer had requested any.
Ricardo Calderón es de los más serios, incisivos y valientes investigadores que tiene el periodismo colombiano. Atentado contra prensa libre
— Andres Villamizar (@villamizar) May 2, 2013
In the global 2013 Impunity Index of the Committee to Protect Journalists published Thursday, Colombia ranked fifth. According to the international press organization, eight murders of journalists have not been solved.
Location of the attack
- Colombia: atentan contra periodista de revista Semana (BBC Mundo)
- Atentado contra periodista de Semana (Semana)
- Atentan contra periodista investigador de Semana (RCN Radio)
- Semana (Twitter)
- Andres Villamizar (Twitter)
- Getting away with murder (Committee to Protect Journalists)