The office of Colombia’s Attorney General announced that it would no longer investigate the deaths of El Espectador journalists Julio Daniel Chaparro and Jorge Enrique Torres, who were killed 20 years ago while investigating a massacre, El Tiempo reports.
According to the Associated Press, the decision to end the investigation was because the four alleged perpetrators, members of the National Liberation Army (ELN) guerrilla group, are presumed dead. The four were reportedly killed in clashes with the authorities in 2000 and 2002.
Fidel Cano, the director of El Espectador, regretted that the killings would “remain unpunished.” “The problem is not time, because 20 years is enough to investigate; the problem is the inadequacy of the Colombian justice system,” he said, quoted by Semana.
On April 7, the Foundation for Press Freedom (FLIP) warned that four additional cases involving journalists who were killed 20 or more years ago could remain unsolved if prosecutors do not reopen the investigations.
Reporters without Borders called on the Colombian government to “identify and prosecute those responsible” for these six killings by investigating and ensuring that the statute of limitations is not applied in these cases.
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.