A TV cameraman was assassinated in western Colombia Wednesday night, with a nationally based NGO highlighting the failure of security forces to protect the journalist.
The Freedom for the Press Foundation (FLIP) has condemned the latest murder of a member of the Colombian press — this latest incident in Buenaventura, in the Pacific coastal state of Valle del Cauca — saying there was “a lack of communication between local and national authorities, who are responsible for the protection of journalists.”
The victim, cameraman Yonni Caicedo, had received death threats seven months earlier while investigating a murder in the city. He was advised to leave the city along with his family, and did so, but was killed during a recent personal visit, reportedly shot down by two gunmen.
FLIP told Colombia Reports earlier this month that Colombia remains one of the most dangerous in the world to practice journalism, in part because of a lack of followup in regards to such threats.
The city of Buenaventura is in the midst of a humanitarian crisis, as armed gangs fight for control of the city and its position as a crucial export center for illegal narcotics. In November, the UN Human Rights Commissioner visited the city, which has unemployment rates as high as 50%, and urged the Colombian government to take action.
It’s unclear what actions have been taken since to curb rampant problems, such as violent crime and homelessness.