Mary Luz Avendaño had been covering a story about the ties between drug gangs and members of the Medellin police. She began to receive death threats from a drug trafficker, alias, “Mi Sangre,” of La Oficina de Envigado drug cartel.
“I began to get warning messages, especially from the sources that gave me information. They told me it was serious, that I should take care of myself, that they had heard comments and that I could be hurt,” Avendaño said in June 2011.
The El Espectador main office began to receive phone calls asking for personal information and the residence of Avendaño. After several months of providing protection to Avendaño, authorities determined that the threat to her personal security was still very high.
“In these days at first I had thought about leaving journalism, but the next day I said that is impossible. I do not regret a single minute to have continued my work, that is what I always wanted be: a journalist,” said Avendaño.
The Foundation for the Freedom of Press (FLIP) requested that the Prosecutor General’s Office focus their efforts on finding those responsible for threatening Avendaño.