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Colombia: Neo-Nazi groups have been threatening journalist for two years

Gustavo Rugeles, the editor of the Bogotá-based news website Las 2 Orillas, has been receiving threats from neo-Nazi groups for the past two years and is still getting them, although the protection he receives from the state was recently reduced after a risk evaluation.

In the latest instance, Alberto Acosta, a member of the far-right group Restauración Nacional, called Rugeles on October 29 to demand the withdrawal of a recent post, and threatened to come and “deal with you” personally when Rugeles refused.

Rugeles has been investigating links between neo-Nazi groups, paramilitaries and politicians for the past three years and has been threatened many times in connection with his coverage of the subject. He has been getting state protection but a recent risk evaluation led to the withdrawal of his bullet-proof car.

“We condemn the attempts to intimidate Rugeles and we urge the authorities to ensure that he is fully protected against the threats to which he is regularly exposed,” Reporters Without Borders deputy programme director Virginie Dangles said.

Reporters Without Borders has registered several cases of threats against journalists by paramilitary groups, criminal gangs and others in Colombia since the start of 2014. Colombia is ranked 126th out of 180 countries in the 2014 Reporters Without Borders press freedom index.

Date posted: November 4, 2014 Last modified: May 23, 2018 Total views: 12