Journalists Killed  |  Colombia

Pablo Emilio Medina Motta

TV Garzón

December 4, 1999, in Gigante, Colombia

Medina, a cameraman with the regional station TV Garzón, was killed by multiple shots to the head and back when more than 100 leftist guerrillas stormed the town of Gigante, Huila Department. Six other people died and some 20 were wounded in the five-hour attack, perpetrated by the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC).

According to TV Garzón director Rulfo Ciceri, Medina, 19, had traveled to Gigante with him and a few other journalists to cover the attack. In order to reach the scene more quickly, Medina then jumped on the back of a motorcycle with a commander from the National Judicial Intelligence Service (SIJIN). The FARC guerrillas apparently mistook him for a member of the SIJIN forces.

Ciceri told CPJ that a commander of the FARC apologized to him for the error, explaining that they mistook Medina for a mosca, or "fly," a pejorative term for a police informer.


Medium: Television

Job: Camera Operator

Beats Covered: War

Gender: Male

Local or Foreign: Local

Freelance: No

Type of Death: Crossfire/Combat-Related

Suspected Source of Fire: Political Group


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