Rivas, 49, host of the political commentary show “Comuna Libre” on local TV station CNC Bugavisión and sports commentator on the local radio station Voces de Occidente, left the CNC Bugavisión offices in Buga shortly after 10 p.m., station manager Javier Gil told CPJ. Minutes later, Rivas arrived at a local funeral home, which he also managed, where he was approached by an individual wearing a dark motorcycle helmet, according to local news reports. The unidentified assailant fired five shots at Rivas’ head before fleeing with a second individual on a motorcycle that was parked outside the funeral home. Rivas died immediately, Gil told CPJ.
On the night of his murder, Rivas had just finished taping a live show. According to the station manager, Rivas was generally critical of civic problems but did not directly criticize particular officials or authorities, nor did he touch on sensitive issues. It was not immediately clear whether he was killed because of his work.
A special team of investigators from the local police began an immediate inquiry, reported the national daily El Tiempo. Gil said investigators had not made any leads public.
“Colombian authorities must promptly and thoroughly investigate the killing of Hárold Humberto Rivas Quevedo,” said Robert Mahoney, CPJ’s deputy director. “In a country where self-censorship has become the norm among provincial reporters, authorities must show their commitment to the protection of the local press by bringing all those responsible for Rivas’ death to justice.”
The rate of journalist murders has declined slightly in
In its year-end analysis,
published today, CPJ found at least 68
journalists worldwide were killed for their work in 2009, the highest
yearly tally ever documented by the organization. One of the year’s victims was
Colombian journalist José Everardo
Aguilar, 72, a correspondent for Radio Súper in the southern city of