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2 journalists shot dead in Colombia after covering story

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Aug 29, 2022 - 09:28 AM

BOGOTA, Colombia (AA) – Two journalists were shot dead in northern Colombia shortly after covering religious festivities in the village of Santa Rosalia de Lima in the department of Magdalena, police said Sunday.

Leiner Montero, the director of an online radio station, and Dilia Contreras, the director of an online news website, were attacked by armed men on a motorcycle as they were traveling in a car on a highway, police said. A third person who was also in the vehicle was injured and is receiving medical attention.

Magdalena police commander Andres Serna said that shortly after Montero was involved in a fight between several people at the event, he decided to leave along with Contreras and another man.

“We are committed to the citizens of Magdalena to give results in the shortest possible time for this sad case where two journalists who were very appreciated among their guild, relatives and acquaintances died,” Serna added.

Authorities are investigating whether the events are related to their work as reporters and who may be behind the killings, but there are several criminal groups present in the area, including the Clan del Golfo and other drug trafficking gangs. Authorities have revealed that the reporters were investigating powerful families in the region who are involved in corruption schemes.

“It is urgent that the police and the prosecutor’s office investigate and take into account the reporting work they were doing,” said Jonathan Bock, director of the Foundation for Press Freedom (FLIP), a non-governmental organization that promotes press freedom in Colombia.

Montero and Contreras are the first journalists killed in Colombia so far this year, according to FLIP.

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