Police investigating highway killing of two Colombian journalists

A police officer shoots tear gas at protesters on 26 May 2021 in Bogotá, Colombia. (Photo: Diego Cuevas / Getty Images)

Two journalists were shot to death by unknown assailants on a motorcycle, who attacked them while they were travelling in a car on a highway in northern Colombia, police said on Sunday.

Leiner Montero, the director of an online radio station, and Dilia Contreras, the director of an online news website, were killed near the municipality of Fundacion in the department of Magdalena as they were returning from patron saint festivities in a nearby village.

Magdalena police commander Andres Serna said that, according to preliminary investigations, a fight had occurred involving Montero and several others.

“After this act of intolerance, the journalist decided to leave in his car alongside Dilia and another man, and on the way they were killed,” the officer told reporters.

“We are committed to the citizens of Magdalena to resolve in the shortest possible time this sad case involving two journalists who were highly appreciated among their union, family and acquaintances,” he added.

Although authorities said it remains unclear whether the murders were related to the journalists’ profession, the Foundation for Press Freedom called for the case to be investigated quickly, and their work taken into account during the investigation.

(Reporting by Luis Jaime Acosta; Editing by Fabian Cambero and Sandra Maler.)


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