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Journalist murdered in Cartago

(FLIP/IPYS/IFEX) - The following is a 5 September 2007 statement by FLIP and IPYS:

Journalist murdered in Cartago, Valle del Cauca

On the morning of 5 September 2007, journalist Javier Darío Arroyave was found murdered in his home. Arroyave was host of the news programme "Cómo les parece" and news director for the Onda del Valle radio station, based in Cartago, Valle del Cauca department.

His colleagues say they became concerned after he failed to appear at the radio station to host the morning programme and did not answer calls made to his mobile phone. They decided to go to his home, which is near the station, and once inside they found the journalist had been stabbed 10 times in the chest and stomach.

The authorities were summoned. The Cartago Police chief, Colonel Armando Burbano, told FLIP and IPYS representatives that investigators do not believe the murder was linked to the journalist's profession.

According to Colonel Ricardo Alberto Restrepo Londoño, of the Valle del Cauca police department, they are searching for three individuals who were apparently involved in the incident and who took the journalist's portable computer and some of his belongings.

The two police officers said there were no signs of forced entry, although there was some disarray inside the home. A number of journalists who were consulted by FLIP said they were not aware of any recent threats against the journalist.

Arroyave, 41 years old, single, lived in Cartago for the last 10 years. He worked for a number of media outlets and was known for his strong critiques of corruption and mismanagement in the municipal and departmental governments.

FLIP and IPYS lament Arroyave's death and call on the authorities to ascertain the motive for the murder and identify the murderers. The possibility that the assassination is linked to the journalist's profession should not be dismissed. FLIP and IPYS hope that more information on the case will become available in the next few days.

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