Threats made against Colombia journalist Jineth Bedoya Lima

Monday, March 7, 2011

Her Excellency Clemencia Forero Ucros
The Ambassador of the Republic of Colombia to Canada
Embassy of the Republic of Colombia
360 Albert Street, Suite 1002
Ottawa, ON K1R 7X7
Fax: (613) 230-4416

March 7, 2011

Dear Ambassador,

I am writing on behalf of Canadian Journalists for Free Expression (CJFE), a non-profit, non-governmental organization that works to promote and protect press freedom and freedom of expression around the world.

CJFE condemns the threat made against journalist Jineth Bedoya Lima by the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), and calls on the Government of Colombia to conduct a thorough investigation and take action to ensure Bedoya’s safety.

Bedoya, the legal issues editor for the daily newspaper El Tiempo, launched her new book about assassinated FARC leader Mono Jojoy on November 9, 2010. On the same day, the Noticias Nueva Colombia news agency, which is aligned with the FARC, issued a headline on its website reading “Jineth Bedoya, journalist or military intelligence agent?” Bedoya was contacted by police and military intelligence agents, who believed that the headline was a threat against her.

The authorities are taking this case extremely seriously and believe that Bedoya is at risk. The Foundation for Press Freedom, based in Bogotá, was informed that the National Police were holding a meeting to determine the security measures to be provided to the journalist, and that individuals high up in the police command were handling Bedoya’s case.

CJFE supports the serious nature in which the National Police are addressing the threat against Bedoya, and calls on Colombian authorities to immediately implement protection measures and conduct a thorough investigation into the situation.

We thank you for your attention and I look forward to your reply.

Yours Sincerely,

Arnold Amber, CJFE President

Cc: Ms. Geneviève des Rivières, Ambassador of Canada to Colombia
The Honourable Lawrence Cannon, Canadian Minister of Foreign Affairs