Criminal groups, or Bacrim, become new threat for journalists in Colombia: CPJ

Despite the decrease of violence in Colombia, the armed groups in the country continue to harass and target the press. Besides the guerrilla, the drug trafficking groups known as Bacrim -- which formed after the paramilitary group United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia surrendered its weapons -- are now part of the threats journalists must face.

In one of its most recent reports, the Committee to Protect Journalists pointed out that the Bacrim has become a new threat to members of the press, particularly in the regions far away from the capital, where their influence has penetrated local politics and even law enforcement agencies like local police forces.

In its report, CPJ underscored some municipalities in the northwestern department of Antioquia, one of the most affected by these criminal groups. Journalists can report on factual stories but risk death if they explain the hows and whys.

Earlier this year, the Journalism Association of Antioquia, APA, called for the protection of several journalists who have been threatened by criminal groups fighting for control over drug routes in the region. Since May, journalists in the outer regions of Colombia have been the target of numerous attacks.


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.