Pablo Emilio Medina Motta

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Attacks on the Press   |   Argentina, Australia, Colombia, East Timor, Indonesia, Kosovo, Lebanon, Macedonia, Nigeria, Russia, Serbia, Sierra Leone, Sri Lanka, Turkey, Yugoslavia

Attacks on the Press 1999: 1999 Death Toll: Listed by Country

[Click here for full list of documented cases]


At its most fundamental level, the job of a journalist is to bear witness. In 1999, journalists in Sierra Leone witnessed rebels' atrocities against civilians in the streets of Freetown. In the Balkans, journalists watched ethnic Albanians fleeing the deadly menace of Serbian police and paramilitaries. In Indonesia, they recorded the violence of Indonesian-backed militias against supporters of political independence. Some who wrote about what they witnessed ended up dying because of the stories they told.

Attacks on the Press

Attacks on the Press 1999: Colombia

In a year that saw both an escalation of Colombia's armed conflict and a tentative beginning of peace negotiations, the press found itself in the crosshairs of nearly every party to the increasingly complicated civil war. Five journalists were killed in the line of duty, while scores of others were threatened, attacked, or kidnapped. Colombian journalists, many of whom had tolerated extremely dangerous working conditions for two decades, began leaving the country in unprecedented numbers.

Alerts   |   Colombia

Colombia: Cameraman killed in leftist rebel attack

New York, December 3, 1999 --- Pablo Emilio Medina Motta, a cameraman with the regional television station, TV Garzón, was killed by multiple shots to the head and back when more than 100 leftist guerrillas stormed the town of Gigante in Huila department. Six other people died and twenty were wounded in the attack.

Medina Motta, 19, was filming in Gigante at around 7:30 p.m. when guerrillas from the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) attacked the town. According to local journalists, Medina Motta got onto the back of a motorcycle with a commander from the police intelligence service and tried to film the fire fight. Local journalists say the FARC guerrillas shot Medina Motta because they thought he was a member of the police forces.

December 6, 1999 12:00 PM ET

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