Several journalists covering the criminal activities of some of Cali’s
security forces have been intimidated, the Colombian Foundation for the
Freedom of Press (FLIP) denounces.
According to FLIP, journalists from both local and national media have received phone calls telling them to stop the reporting on the investigated ties between Cali police officers and criminal gangs. Most received calls were made anonymously, but some journalists say they received calls from high ranked police officials.
Most journalists say the calls received were not of an aggressive tone, but still were considered intimidating.
One journalist told the FLIP he received a call and was told “if you continue talking shit, stick to the consequences.” The caller hung up immediately after.
In response, several national media have asked their Cali correspondents not to report on the matter.
Meanwhile, half of Cali’s 300 men intelligence unit is being demoted to surveillance duties or transferred to other parts of the country. The police tries to keep the transferred officers within their specialization, because “it’s a human potential that has cost the National Police a lot of money to prepare,” Cali police commander Gustavo Ricaurte told Cali-based newspaper El País.
Cali’s police department is under pressure after the prosecution arrested seven police officers for their alleged part taking in robberies and the killing of at least three colleagues.