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FLIP founder leaves paper over political differences

Javier Darío Restrepo
Javier Darío Restrepo

Liliana Toro

One of the founding members of the Foundation for Press Freedom (FLIP) has announced that he has been made to leave his paper because of a difference of political views, FLIP reports.

In his weekly column on 14 May, journalist Javier Darío Restrepo announced that he would be leaving the Medellín daily "El Colombiano" after 17 years because his political outlook does not coincide with that of the paper's.

In his penultimate column, Restrepo, who is a critic of President Álvaro Uribe Vélez's administration, wrote, "It is necessary to understand that just because a person does not agree with the government does not make them a terrorist, nor a FARC (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia) accomplice, nor an enemy of the President or his supporters."

According to the management of "El Colombiano", the decision was an outcome of reorganisation of the paper's editorial pages, which has been going on for the past three years.

Restrepo is the author of books on journalism and journalistic ethics and a member of the FLIP executive committee.

In a statement, FLIP expressed its concerns about the decision, which "may also have the intention of silencing critical opinions or those that go against the majority view."

"In the current climate of polarisation and radicalism, Colombian democracy requires more, not less, reflective voices such as that of Restrepo," FLIP added.

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  • Journalist leaves "El Colombiano" daily

    In his weekly column on 14 May 2009, journalist Javier Darío Restrepo announced that he would be leaving the Medellín daily "El Colombiano". After 17 years writing for the paper, its management notified him of their decision, saying that is it the outcome of reorganisation of the paper's editorial pages.



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