Colombian radio journalist demands respect for his profession after being attacked while reporting

By Liliana Honorato

A Colombian radio journalist was hit in the face while trying to report about citizen complaints in the tax office of the Gobernación de Bolívar in Cartagena, Colombia, reported the newspaper El Universal.

This is not the first time that the journalist from the RCN Mundo Cartagena radio station, Dereck Álvarez, was victim of attacks while working as a reporter, added El Universal. That is why Álvarez said that it is worthwhile to file complaints for these types of criminal acts against journalists, so that people can understand that "each person carries out their duties and they need to be respected."

Colombia occupies one of the worst positions (143 of 179 countries) in the Press Freedom Index 2011/2012 released by Reporters Without Borders during the beginning of this year. So far in 2012 in Colombia, two journalists were killed and many journalists fled from their cities after receiving death threats. The majority of threats come from guerrillas, especially by the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, who this year kidnapped French journalist Roméo Langlois in April and tried killing former minister and journalist Londoño Hoyos in a terrorist attack in May.

At the beginning of February, the Foundation for Press Freedom and the Colombian Journalists Union presented a report expressing concern about press freedom in Colombia. The violence, self-censorship, and impunity were pointed out as the most concerning problems for practicing journalism in Colombia.

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.