The assistant director of La Vanguardia Liberal, a newspaper from the northeast of Colombia, received death threats Tuesday night over the phone. The assistant director and leader of the newspaper’s investigative unit, Diana Giraldo, received a phone call from a young woman on her personal mobile phone Tuesday night from an unknown number telling her: “F***ing b***, you’re going to die.”
“At about 11PM I got a call from an unknown number. I answered and a woman insulted me and screamed that I’m going to die,” said the Assistant Director of Vanguardia adding that, “the call obviously worried me, even though I know that these these risks are part of the job and part of journalism if things are to be well done,” reported newspaper El Universal.
Giraldo and Vanguardia have recently been subject to defaming comments on social networks from consultants and workers at Bucamaranga’s city administration of Mayor Luis Francisco Bohorquez.
According to the newspaper, the comments followed recent Vanguardia editorials on alleged corruption by Bohorquez. According to Giraldo, “In the social networks and through Internet they tried to discredit me and the mass comments to any publication of Vanguardia raised the tone.”
Despite improvements made over the past decade, Colombia is still rated as one of the most dangerous countries in the world to practice journalism, especially for locally based media like Vanguardia. According to the 2013 report of the Foundation for the Liberation of the Press, there have been 142 recorded deaths of journalists since 1977. The majority of these killings are of apolitical nature.
Following the threat, Giraldo requested security be provided by the National Protection Unit.
- Diana Giraldo, coordinadora de la Unidad Investigativa del diario bumangués, pidió protección (El Tiempo)
- Amenazan a subdirectora del diario Vanguardia Liberal (El Universal)
- Amenazan a Subdirectora de Vanguardia Liberal (Vanguardia)
- ¿Manipula la Alcaldía de Bucaramanga la opinión ciudadana a través de redes? (Vanguardia)