FARC threatens Colombian journalist who wrote book about guerrilla leader

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  • November 10, 2010

By Ingrid Bachmann

The editor responsible for judicial coverage at El Tiempo newspaper, Jineth Bedoya Lima, received threats from the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) after releasing her book about el “Mono Jojoy,” the guerrilla leader killed in September, the Foundation for Press Freedom (FLIP) reports.

According to the book Vida y muerte del Mono Jojoy (Life and Death of Mono Jojoy), the high-ranking FARC leader had ordered the killing or intimidation of several Colombian journalists, including Néstor Morales, of Radio Caracol, and Adriana Aristizábal and Astrid Legarda, who worked for RCN Televisión, EFE explains.

FLIP says the site of the Agencia de Noticias Nueva Colombia (New Colombia News Agency—which sympathizes with the FARC—featured the journalist's photo Nov. 9 with a message asking: “Jineth Bedoya, a journalist, or from the military intelligence?.” Police and army intelligence members warned Bedoya that it should be considered a threat against her from the FARC.

Bedoya has specialized in investigations about Colombia's armed conflict and has published four books about the topic. She has also been threatened several times. She says she knew the FARC would not like the book but acknowledges being "very worried" about the high risk that authorities have assessed, FLIP adds.

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.