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Shots fired at Colombian magazine journalist

FLIP condemns an attack on journalist Ricardo Calderón, head of research for the magazine Semana.

The attack took place at 7 p.m. on 1 May 2013, while Calderón was driving, on his way to cover a story. Calderón was near a toll station when two people got out of a vehicle, called Calderón's name, and fired several shots at his car. The journalist managed to manoeuvre his car away from his attackers and he escaped unharmed. The attack left five bullet holes in his car.

According to Alejandro Santos, the editor of Semana, in the days before the attack, because of research he had been doing, Calderón had been followed and some of his sources had been harassed.

Recently, Calderón had done a new report on an investigation of the Tolemaida Resort, which was published in Semana 15 days before the attack. In the report he talked about privileges given to military personnel detained at a base in Tolemaida, in Tolima department. A few years earlier, Calderón investigated illegal wiretapping and surveillance carried out by the DAS (the Administrative Department of Security in Colombia).

The police chief, Jorge Nieto, said there is a special team working on the case, and the director of the National Protection Unit, Andrés Villamizar, said he already has a security plan in place. The local prosecutor said a police Technical Investigation Team had been assembled to investigate the incident.

This regrettable attack took place only days ahead of World Press Freedom Day, celebrated on 3 May.

FLIP condemns the attack, and stands with Ricardo Calderón and Semana magazine. The organisation calls on the police and the National Protection Unit to supply protection for the journalist, and calls on the Federal Attorney General to take into consideration the theory that the attack was related to recent journalistic investigations done by Calderón.

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