Colombian journalist flees after death threat after report on extortion claims

  • Source: CPJ
  • May 22, 2024

"Colombian authorities must thoroughly investigate the death threat received by journalist Edward Álvarez, ensure his safety, and bring those responsible to justice, the Committee to Protect Journalists said Tuesday [May 21].

Álvarez, a reporter for the independent online news outlet La Chiva de Urabá in the northern city of Apartadó, received a death threat via WhatsApp on May 12, according to news reports and the journalist, who spoke to CPJ.  The sender identified themselves as ‘Commander Lucas’ of [...] The Gaitanista Self Defense Forces of Colombia [criminal group], and declared Álvarez a ‘military objective’ for publishing a story about one of the group’s imprisoned members, according to CPJ’s review of the message. ‘Commander Lucas’ warned that if Álvarez continued reporting, his family would also be at risk.


Álvarez told CPJ that he reported the threat to the local police and the Attorney General’s office on May 13 and then fled Apartadó. 'I am very scared,' he told CPJ, adding that he did not know when he would return."

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