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Colombian official accused of burning newspaper copies alleging misuse of public resources

The Colombian newspaper El Meridiano de Sucre claimed that copies of its publication were burned on Tuesday, Jan 29, to prevent its distribution. The copies were due to be circulated in the city of Majagual, Sucre on Monday, Jan. 28, reported the newspaper.

A city councilor reported the event, claiming that the manager of a public health services agency in the community negotiated a price for the copies with their distributor and burned them, added the newspaper.

The torched editions alleged the misuse of an ambulance by the public health agency. Photographs accompanied the article showing the ambulance’s driver hauling construction materials, supposedly to his home, reported EL Meridiano de Sucre.

The Sucre Social Journalists' Association (ACPS in Spanish) denounced the "attack on press freedom" the newspaper suffered as a "violation of Colombians' rights to report and be informed," according to the Colombian Federation of Journalists' website.

The newspaper's editor in chief said that when they learned of the situation other copies of the newspaper were sent to the city so as "not to affect the area's readers," noting however that it only partially made up for the interruption, according to the newspaper.

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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