A Colombian journalist was shot dead in broad daylight Thursday on a street in western Colombia, reported Colombian media.
Argemiro Cardenas Agudelo was manager of Metro Radio in Dosquebradas, the Risaralda Department town where he died and where he had previously served as mayor.
The Foundation for Press Freedom (FLIP) condemned the murder, but said it was “not clear that the crime is related to his journalistic work,” but judicial investigations, “will clarify whether the crime was motivated by his status as a journalist.”
The murder occurred at approximately 12:20pm, as Cardenas was walking to a meeting.
FLIP asserted that the journalist had reported threats, while Pereira Metropolitan Police Commander Colonel Gonzalo Lonoño told local media Cardenas “received a call that confirmed an appointment. He then walked to the place where they had arranged to meet and, on the way, an individual shot him, causing his immediate death.”
But fellow journalist Juan Antonio Ruiz, who worked with Cardenas at the newspaper La Tarde de Pereira, threw doubt over the idea of the murder being motivated by his journalism, telling FLIP, “I was at the head of any investigative report in question, he was already in the process of retirement.”
An unnamed source told FLIP “Dosquebradas is a hot town […] here are [drug] trafficking bands vying for control over neighborhoods and pockets of neo-paramilitaries. “
Pereira Metropolitan Police offered a reward of up to five million pesos ($2840) for information leading to the apprehension of Cardenas’ assailants, while Dosquebradas government minister Maria Rivera announced three days of mourning.
Cardenas was elected to the mayorship as the Liberal Party candidate in 1997.