Violence and self-censorship
Colombia continues to be one of the western hemisphere’s most dangerous countries for journalists, who are still the frequent targets of death threats, physical attacks, abduction and murder. Coverage of such subjects as the environment, public order, armed conflicts, corruption or collusion between politicians and illegal armed groups elicits systematic harassment, intimidation and violence. Journalists also continue to be permanently threatened by “bacrims,” gangs of former paramilitaries now involved in drug trafficking.
Rebel armed groups such as the ELN and FARC dissidents try to silence alternative and community media that cover their activities, leading to the creation of information “black holes,” especially in rural areas. The media’s close links to Colombia’s business empires and political class undermines editorial independence and reinforces self-censorship. Since conservative politician Iván Duque’s installation as president in August 2018, journalists and media outlets have been the targets of harassment and intimidation campaigns and espionage after reporting that members of his government had been involved in fraud, corruption and human rights violations.
129 in 2019
42.82 in 2019