Last Updated: Friday, 29 August 2014, 14:18 GMT

Local official charged in journalist's murder

Publisher Committee to Protect Journalists
Publication Date 13 November 2008
Cite as Committee to Protect Journalists, Local official charged in journalist's murder, 13 November 2008, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/4947cb2e23.html [accessed 30 August 2014]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.

Nelson Carvajal Carvajal, Radio Sur, August 26, 2008
Original case: April 14, 1998

Colombia's attorney general ordered the arrest of Carlos Augusto Rojas Ortiz, president of the local Assembly in Huila province, for masterminding Carvajal's murder in 1998, according to local news reports.

Rojas was reportedly arrested at his home in the Huila capital, Neiva, and taken to Bogotá. Attorney General Mario Iguarán Arana said the human rights arm of his office had enough evidence to link Rojas to the investigation, the Medellín-based daily El Colombiano reported. In addition, Iguarán said his office ordered the arrest of two members of the left-wing Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), Giovanni Molano Bonilla, aka "Oswaldo Patiño," and Franklyn González Ramírez, in connection with the crime. The attorney general's office also asked the Supreme Court of Justice to review the 2001 acquittal of two other Huila officials.

An unidentified gunman shot Carvajal, a well-known radio journalist in the town of Pitalito, 10 times outside the elementary school where he taught at 6 p.m. on April 14, 1998. The gunman and an accomplice escaped by motorcycle, according to several eyewitnesses. Carvajal was the producer of five community programs on Radio Sur, a local affiliate of Radio Cadena Nacional. In addition to programming on topics ranging from health services to rural development, Carvajal provided investigative reporting about alleged government corruption. The journalist had recently reported on allegations that the former mayor of Pitalito, Ramiro Falla Cuenca, had misappropriated public funds.

On January 5, 1999, police arrested Falla and Fermando Bermúdez, another Pitalito official, said news reports. Both men were accused of Carvajal's murder. But on December 15, 2000, a Neiva court acquitted both officials.

November 13, 2008 6:09 PM ET

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