Indigenous journalist Mauricio Moreno Medina, the founding member of a community radio station for the Pijao indigenous people, was murdered Sunday by unknown assailants in his home, in the town of Ortega in Colombia’s western Tolima department, reports Reuters.
Medina, 50, died of multiple knife wounds.
Police investigating the murder said they did not suspect a link with any illegal armed groups. They confirmed that Moreno had not received any death threats.
Reporters Without Borders (RWB) suggest that the murder was more than a “crime of passion” as police concluded.
“The label “crime of passion” is too often used to avoid investigation of any link with the victim’s work, even to the extent of covering up a case. This has already happened in several other murders of journalists in Colombia,” RWB said.
“As a director of a community radio, the kind of media often targeted by the authorities, particularly in conflict areas, Medina ran risks as a result of his work,” said RWB.
The Paris-based NGO added that Medina’s efforts in environmental conservation could have caused resentment.
Medina’s remains were interred in the grounds of the Council of Ortega and the funeral will be held in his birthplace of Garzon, a town in the neighboring Huila region.