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Colombian journalist warned of the third plan to have him killed

On Thursday 22 May 2014 journalist Gonzalo Guillén was warned by agents of the Directorate of Criminal Investigation and Interpol (Dirección Central de Policía Judicial e Inteligencia, DIJIN) and the District Attorney's Office of “an elaborate plan to have him killed”. The information came from investigators just hours before Guillén and his bodyguards found themselves being followed by two vehicles.

This information was confirmed by authorities and by the National Protection Unit (Unidad Nacional de Protección, UNP), who immediately activated an emergency plan and stepped up security for the journalist.

Sadly these incidents are not isolated, they are pare of a sensitive security situation that Guillén has been dealing with for a year. Nevertheless, and despite the fact that authorities have said publicly that they know the people who have been contracted to kill him, the level of danger for the journalist, far from decreasing, continues to worsen.

Guillén has said that the former Governor of La Guajira, Kiko Gómez, and the criminal “Marquitos Figueroa” are behind the plan. Gómez is currently in prison. The journalist had done research aiming to show a link between the former governor and Figueroa's criminal gang.

On 16 May 2013, Guillén and a group of researchers had to leave the country after learning there was a plan to kill him.

Five months later, at the same time Gómez was captured, the journalist received more information about the plans to kill him, and he left the country again.

Guillén has also been the object of continuous slander and libel suits, which have been reported by the Fundación para la Libertad de Prensa (FLIP) as judicial harassment, aiming to distract the reporter from his work and subject him to pressures of the judicial system.

FLIP strongly condemns the situation affecting Guillén, recognizes the speed with which the UNP reinforced its security ring and the effectiveness of the police in reporting the risk to the journalist. Nevertheless, it is unconscionable that the investigations into who is responsible have had no significant advances, and FLIP calls on the Federal Attorney General to look into the plan to kill Guillén.

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