The Colombian Federation of Journalists (FECOLPER) has scheduled a march to protest recurrent death threats made against journalists by criminal bands.
According to Spanish news agency EFE, members of FECOLPER, an organization which represents more than 1,300 journalists, reported Monday that a “march of silence” will take place countrywide on May 3.
Those congregated in the Barranquilla assembly, at which the decision was made, demanded that President Juan Manuel Santos’ administration makes “concrete actions to guarantee the life, the physical integrity of the journalists and the right to the free exercise of their profession.”
Among other elements, the march is in part a response to a February email sent by the “Aguilas Negras” neo-paramilitary organization’s central bloc to a number of journalists, which stated, “It’s time to kill and annihilate all the people and organizations that pose as human rights defenders.”
Personal targets of the threatening e-mail included the president of FECOLPER, Eduardo Marquez, and journalists Hollman Morris and Daniel Coronell.
More recently, it emerged Monday that the same neo-paramilitary group have been circulating pamphlets threatening various journalists, as well as other notable local leaders, in the Caribbean coastal city of Barranquilla.
The Inter American Press Association reported in April that over the course of the past six months, death threats and major attacks on the freedom of expression of Colombian journalists have increased, despite the fact that there have been no actual incidences of murders.