Violence and self-censorship


The signing of historic peace accords between the government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) in September 2016 dispelled a great deal of tension. The end of the conflict with these Marxist rebels was repeatedly the source of censorship and violence against the media. Colombia continues to be one of the Western Hemisphere’s most dangerous countries for journalists, who are still the frequent targets of death threats, attacks and murder. Coverage of such subjects as the environment, public order, armed conflicts, corruption or collusion between politicians and illegal armed groups systematically elicits harassment, intimidation and violence. Journalists also continue to be permanently threatened by “bacrims,” gangs of former paramilitaries now involved in drug trafficking. Death threats, physical attacks and abduction are common, and rebel armed groups such as the ELN react violently to attempts by alternative or community media to cover their activities, leading to the creation of information “black holes” in rural areas. The media’s close links to Colombia’s business empires and political class undermines their editorial independence and reinforces self-censorship. The new conservative president, Ivan Duque, who was elected in August 2018, has not given any signs that bode well for an improvement in press freedom.

in the 2019 World Press Freedom Index



130 in 2018

Global score


41.03 in 2018

  • 0
    journalists killed in 2020
  • 0
    citizens journalists killed in 2020
  • 0
    media assistants killed in 2020
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