BOGOTA – Colombian journalist Libardo Montenegro, a reporter with the Samaniego Estereo community radio station, was murdered in that town in southwestern Nariño province, authorities said on Wednesday.
“We report two regrettable facts. A young man and a community reporter from the town of Samaniego are the latest victims of violence. We’re closely following the details provided by the authorities. (We express our) solidarity with their families. Mourning in local journalism,” Nariño Gov. Camilo Romero said on Twitter.
The police said that the 40-year-old Montenegro was murdered Tuesday night when he was accosted by two gunmen – apparently assassins – on a Samaniego street.
The killing was condemned by the European Union’s ambassador in Colombia, Patricia Llombart, who noted that Montenegro was part of a radio program financed by the EU.
“We condemn the murder of community journalist Libardo Montenegro, with the Samaniego Estereo radio station, part of the Radios for Peace project. We hope that the effort of a community fighting to build peace and coexistence will not be extinguished with his voice,” Llombart said.
According to local authorities, the reporter was the host of the “El Despertador” morning show and had worked in radio for 20 years.
A few hours before Montenegro was killed a young man was also gunned down, although no details were available about that murder.
Colombian Attorney General Fernando Carrillo also condemned Montenegro’s murder and called it an “attack on the freedom of the press and on social leaders.”
Carrillo said that the country cannot “continue to remain unshaken by the violent deaths of more Colombians.”
On May 20, Paula Andrea Rosero, a resident of Samaniego, was murdered and no leads have developed as to the perpetrators of the crime.
According to the Colombian Ombudsman’s Office, between January 2016 and February 2019, 462 social leaders and human rights defenders were murdered in Colombia.
The NGO Programa Somos Defensores reported last month that 25 Colombian human rights activists were murdered in the first quarter of this year.