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AUTHORITIES UNCOVER PLOT TO KILL IAPA PRESIDENT

Colombian authorities were able to foil an attempt by a left-wing guerrilla group to kill a journalist who is the president of IFEX member the Inter American Press Association (IAPA) and a founder of the Foundation for Press Freedom (FLIP), IFEX's member in Colombia.

IAPA and FLIP learned last week that the Colombian government was able to thwart a plan by FARC (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia) guerrillas to kill Enrique Santos Calderón, editor of the Bogotá newspaper "El Tiempo", at his family farm in Anapoima in mid-April.

The FARC murder plot also targeted Santos's brother, Colombian Defence Minister Juan Manuel Santos, and other members of his family. FLIP reports that Luis Fernando Santos at "El Tiempo" was also mentioned in the plot.

Colombia's President Álvaro Uribe reported on 26 March that police arrested 10 guerrillas in the cities of Anapoima, Girardot and Pitalito who had police uniforms, weapons and a well-orchestrated plan for the murders.

In a statement posted on the website of "El Tiempo", Calderón said, "The police had already alerted me to a FARC plot to murder me, which of course left me speechless. It appears that given the difficulty of getting to the Defence Minister they settled on me as a target. It's very troublesome and symptomatic that they are plotting personal attacks of this kind. Being a journalist, as my sole job in life, I can't but feel intimidated and attacked."

For more on this case, see: IAPA, "IAPA concerned at plot to kill its president": http://www.ifex.org/en/content/view/full/102009

(1 April 2009)

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