Friday, September 11, 2015

#RIP Flor Alba Núñez Vargas

Many of my colleagues and contemporaries all over the globe increasingly find themselves in dangerous situations. Here in the United States, people were horrified when a reporter and her cameraman were murdered on live television.

But there are more of us who risk our lives on a daily basis. It's hard to accept that something as simple as participating in a children's event at a shopping mall or interviewing a chamber of commerce leader could potentially end in death.

On September 10, 25-year-old broadcast journalist Flor Alba Núñez Vargas was shot to death in southwest Colombia. Her bio descrfibes her as "a passionate woman of the media" who enjoyed spreading information over the air and online.

Huila Police commander Colonel Santiago Camelo has gone to the town of Pitalito to personally lead the investigation into the events surrounding the murder. Nuñez reportedly was attacked by a man on a motorcycle, who shot her in the head as she was heading in the door to work. How often have you been outside the door at your job - and I'll bet you're never "on guard" - never would you suspect that someone would shoot at you!
La periodista Flor Alba Núñez Vargas, de 27 años, fue asesinada en Pitalito, Huila (Colombia)

Authorities are offering 70 million pesos for information leading to the killer's capture. The Foundation for Press Freedom (FLIP for its acronym in Spanish) has developed three possible hypotheses. Núñez Vargas “recently published - on her personal Facebook account - photographs of a criminal gang that had carried out a robbery,” according to FLIP. The second and third hypotheses involve coverage of the election process and threats she had received after the publication of an interview about the killing of a dog.

CPJ reports that 46 journalists have been killed in Colombia since 1992. The country ranks 8th on the organization's 2014 Global Impunity Index for murders of journalists.

FLIP said it is going to Pitalito to get more information about the case and called on the attorney general to act.

See also:
In addition to her work a La Preferida, Núñez Vargas also worked for various television stations and newspapers, including Canal6, Nación TV and newspaper La Nación. Reports describe her as a well-known journalist in Huila.

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