The Colombian press remained in the cross fire of an escalating, decades-old civil conflict pitting two major leftist guerrilla groups against the Colombian army and right-wing paramilitary forces. While peace negotiations slowly moved forward at the beginning of 2002, the conflict continued to take a deadly toll on journalists and sent many into hiding. At least three journalists were killed for their work in 2001. CPJ continues to investigate the deaths of five others whose murders may have been professionally related.
New York, January 4, 2001 --- Of the 24 journalists killed for their work in 2000, according to CPJ research, at least 16 were murdered, most of those in countries where assassins have learned they can kill journalists with impunity.
This figure is down from 1999, when CPJ found that 34 journalists were killed for their work, 10 of them in war-torn Sierra Leone.
In announcing the organization's annual accounting of journalists who lost their lives because of their work, CPJ executive director Ann Cooper noted that while most of the deaths occurred in countries experiencing war or civil strife, "The majority did not die in crossfire. They were very deliberately targeted for elimination because of their reporting." Others whose deaths were documented by CPJ appear to have been singled out while covering demonstrations, or were caught in military actions or ambushes while on assignment.
Bogotá, December 14, 2000 --- Early yesterday morning, two men on a motorcycle killed radio journalist Alfredo Abad López as he was saying goodbye to his wife outside their home in the southern Colombian city of Florencia.