More matter with less art

Your murdered Colombian journalist of the day

His name is Luis Carlos Cervantes, he worked for a a local radio station “Morena FM” as well as a correspondent for the regional news media Teleantioquia Noticias and as reported in many places in Colombia yesterday and this morning, the basic circumstances of his murder are as follows:

  • He was subject to death threats for four years (some reports say five years), due to his reporting at the time on corruption in local political circles and on the activities of far right wing paramilitary groups in the Antioquia region of Northwest Colombia, where he lived. Due to the seriousness of the threats, he had been under official police protection.
  • Three weeks ago, on July 24th to be exact, his police protection was withdrawn. The reason seems to be connected with the fact that at his most recent job he was little more than a music DJ (he changed tack at the station after a previous death threat and when a grenade exploded just yards from the radio station in 2013).
  • Soon after the police detail was withdrawn, he was visited by a known member of the far right wing ‘Urabeños’ (now also sometimes known as ‘Los Úsuga’), the paramilitary group that’s also deeply into narcotrafficking, protection rackets, etc.
  • After refusing to give the Urabeño member some information he was after, he began receiving text messages that told to leave the area within two hours or face the consequences.
  • He asked that his police protection be reinstated, but nothing happened.
  • Yesterday afternoon he was shot dead by an unknown assassin. Another dead journalist in Colombia.

The thing about press freedom is that you hear a lot of protests and wailing from journalists and countries when those very same journalists get to tell you their press freedom is being suppressed, which is kind of contradictory when you think about it. It’s underscored when a case such as  Luis Carlos Cervantes comes up, because you never hear from the reporters and journalists who are seriously under threat because they’re just too damned afraid to say anything. Right up to the day that it’s too late, but you still don’t hear about the events except in pissant blogs such as IKN because these stories aren’t from the right countries, they don’t fit into pre-packaged agendas, they’re not interesting to the people who supply you with the news which pretends to inform you about South America.

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