22 May 2013

Colombia urged by IAPA to rapidly solve murder of journalist

Miami (May 13, 2013)—The Colombian authorities were urged today by the Inter American Press Association (IAPA) to act fast to solve the murder of radio announcer Alberto Lazaro del Valle so as to learn the motives and bring those responsible to justice. Del Valle, director and announcer of the youth radio station Radio Planeta, was killed on the evening of May 10 in Cali, capital of Valle del Cauca province, 302 miles from Bogotá. As he was leaving the radio station he was attacked by unidentified assailants who shot him seven times. He was rushed to a clinic, where he died. The chairman of the IAPA’s Committee on Freedom of the Press and Information, Claudio Paolillo, regretted the incident and urged Colombian officials “to immediately take the necessary steps to identify and bring to court those responsible for this crime.” It was not immediately known whether the murder was connected to Del Valle’s profession. For more than 30 years Del Valle worked as an announcer with various youth radio stations in Cali and produced musicals, according to local media. The authorities confirmed that he had not reported having received any death threats and the Colombian Press Freedom Foundation (FLIP) said that they were not aware of any reports of Del Valle having been intimidated. Following the incident, Colombian officials offered a 50 million pesos (US$27,000) reward for information leading to the arrest of the murderers.