Sign up for weekly updates

Photojournalist threatened in Cartagena

(FLIP/IFEX) - On 14 February 2010, Claudia Fortich, a photojournalist for the daily "Q' Hubo" in Cartagena, in the department of Bolivar, received a message on her cellular phone in which the caller said, "I'm going to tell you something so that you're careful. They are planning to kill you because you refused to cooperate." Fortich's colleagues called the number from which the call had originated and found out that it was made from a public telephone booth.

Fortich told FLIP that, on 12 February, another journalist was covering a protest by motorcycle drivers and motorcycle taxi service providers when she was approached by one of the demonstrators, who said to her, "Are you Claudia Fortich, the one who has been taking photographs of us committing traffic violations?" When the journalist said that she was not Fortich, the demonstrator alluded to Fortich refusing to cooperate with them. Both Fortich and the managers of "Q' Hubo" believe that the threat against her could be related to this incident.

Fortich recently published photographs of bikers committing traffic violations, but she was not the only "Q' Hubo" journalist to do so.

The commander of the Cartagena Metropolitan Police told FLIP that an investigation into the threat has been launched and that Fortich is being provided with security measures. He also said that, according to information he has obtained, the telephone call originated from within the San Sebastián de Ternera prison.

"Q' Hubo" editor Germán Mendoza Diego, however, told FLIP that he does not believe this version of events as information he has obtained indicates that the call did indeed come from a public telephone booth.

FLIP condemns the threat against Fortich and calls on the local authorities to continue providing her with protection while they carry out their investigation.

Get more stories like this

Sign up for our newsletters and get the most important free expression news delivered to your inbox.