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Award-winning Colombian journalist and kidnapping victim receives new threat

The Free Press Foundation (FLIP in Spanish) and Oxfam demanded the immediate investigation into the latest threat received by Jineth Bedoya Lima, journalist and assistant legal editor for the Colombian newspaper El Tiempo, according to a statement from the groups on Thursday, Jan. 17.

Bedoya received the threat through one of her sources who was intimidated by suspects trying to get the reporter to stop publishing accusations, added the statement. "Tell Jineth Bedoya she should stop publishing these things because she knows what could happen," threatened the suspects, according to the source.

This is the sixth threat Bedoya has received since 2011, which has already been reported to the Attorney General, reported the statement. However, FLIP and Oxfam said that the prosecutor's office has not complied with an agreement made with the reporter to "concentrate the investigation in one prosecutor," which they allege has contributed to the continued impunity.

The organizations remembered that the reporter has been under protection from the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights since 2000, after she was kidnapped, tortured and sexually abused as a result of an investigation. The Colombian Attorney General declared the wrongdoings crimes against humanity in 2012.

Bedoya has become one of the most important symbols of violence against journalists. She was one of the Latin American journalists who took part in the International Day to End Impunity organized by the International Freedom of Expression Exchange network and last year First Lady Michelle Obama presented her the U.S. State Department's International Women of Courage Award, reported ABC News.

Note from the editor: This story was originally published by the Knight Center’s blog Journalism in the Americas, the predecessor of LatAm Journalism Review.

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