Sources threaten Colombian journalist for not receiving book royalties

Colombian journalist Yesid Toro has been forced to leave his city after threats against his life, reported the newspaper El Espectador.  Threats against judicial reporters are not uncommon in Cali Colombia; however, on this occasion members of the Judicial Investigations Section (SIJIN) of the National Police recommended that he leave the city, added the newspaper.

The threats come after the publication of Toro’s book, “Plot to Kill the Devil,” which tells the story of young killers for hire (“sicarios” in Spanish) in Cali, and whose protagonist is a mix of fiction and nonfiction, said the magazine Semana.  After the re-release of the book, the mother and stepfather of a sicario they claim is the inspiration for the protagonist asked Toro for royalties from the book, said Semana.

Toro refused their request, but the pressures grew so much that Toro had to notify the police.  When the two parents showed up on the premises of the newspaper Toro works for, they were removed by police officers for alleged extortion.  At the police station, the police realized that the mother had an outstanding arrest warrant for false testimony and was arrested but the stepfather was released, said El Espectador and the website of W Radio.

The case was taken to the Protection Unit (UNP) of the Cali Police, who offered to provide protection to Toro under the Plan Padrino program, said the Foundation for Freedom of the Press (FLIP).  FLIP also asked the public prosecutor’s office to investigate the case and punish those responsible.

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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