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Journalist attacked, threatened in Antioquia

(FLIP/IFEX) - 11 August 2010 - On 21 July 2010, journalist Juan David Betancourt, a correspondent for Teleantioquia Noticias in the municipality of Dabeiba, Antioquia, was assaulted by a person who disagreed with his criticism of the local mayor, Ómar Albeiro Anaya.

The incident took place in public when Luciando Rodríguez, who has worked for the local administration at public events and is close to the mayor, hit the journalist on the head with a blunt object and warned him to stop badmouthing the mayor on Teleantioquia Noticias unless he wanted to die.

Betancourt was transferred to a medical centre, where he received five stitches.

The journalist said that Teleantioquia has aired news items about poor management by the mayor's office, and over the last few years, the mayor has demonstrated his displeasure.

The mayor told FLIP that the incident was a personal attack on the journalist and distanced himself from Rodríguez. He also said that Betancourt "only airs bad news about Dabeiba and never has anything good to say," and that Betancourt has put together a campaign to discredit his administration.

FLIP condemns the attack on Betancourt and calls on the mayor of Dabeiba and his supporters to respect journalistic freedoms and to conduct an investigation into the incident.

(Please note this is an abridged translation.)

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