Journalist receives letter bomb in Colombia

A Colombian journalist received a letter bomb on Thursday, March 7, reported the website Caracol Radio. Journalist Juan David Betancur found the explosive at his home in the city of Dabebia, Antioquia, added the website.

According to Betancur, he thought the envelope looked suspicious and notified the police, who sent a military bomb squad to inspect the package. The authorities discovered detonators and a bomb set to explode when the package was opened, reported Caracol Radio.

The package came with a threatening letter demanding the journalist stop publishing reports on corruption in the area or the demobilization of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC in Spanish, according to the newspaper El Colombiano. Betancur, 34 years old, works for the newspaper El Panamericano, which circulates in western Antioquia department, one of the most violent in Colombia.

The journalist has been under government protection since 2009, when he was first attacked. Since then, he has continued to receive threatening phone calls and messages, added El Colombiano.

The president of the Antioquia Association of Journalists said that the department is one of the most dangerous for journalists in the Andean country with 20 registered attacks on the press during the last two years, reported the newspaper. Most aggressions against journalists in the region come from criminal organizations.

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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