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Threatening pamphlet directed at radio station appears in Barrancabermeja

(FLIP/IFEX) - On 31 January 2011, a threatening pamphlet was left at the offices of Antena del Río 780 AM in Barrancabermeja, Santander. The threats were directed at the radio station's reporters.

Around 2:30 p.m. on 31 January, one of the station's employees found the pamphlet which warned, "keep supporting the leftist dogs and you will be dead; get out of the city."

According to Andrés Gil, a member of the Rural Association of Valle del Río Cimitarra (ACVC), the threat is linked to the station's broadcasts of the "La Marcha" radio programme, which is produced by the ACVC. The programme is aired live every day from 7 to 8 in the morning and 5 to 6 in the evening, and focuses on human rights violations in the area. This is not the first time that media workers from Antena del Río have been threatened; in 2007 they received multiple threats.

The Barrancabermeja police chief, Carlos Andrés Ochoa, said the police "had spoken with those at the station and are investigating who may have issued the document."

The Fundación para la Libertad de Prensa (FLIP) condemns the threats against Antena del Río and expresses its concern over this new way of intimidating the press. Since 2010, threatening notices have been issued a few times in various parts of the country including Atlántico, the north part of Valle del Cauca, Cauca, Nariño, Putumayo, and now in Santander. FLIP urges the authorities to conduct a prompt and transparent investigation and to offer effective means of protection for the journalists who work at the station.

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