Posted by: Paula Delgado-Kling | June 9, 2011

Another journalist almost killed

The director of a provincial television station, Mario Esteban López Ortega, was arriving home at night when he was approached by two men who forced their way into his car. They put a cable around his neck and forced him to drive to the outskirts of the city of Ipiales in Nariño province. They ordered López to stop in an open field and after beating and insulting him, they doused him and his car with gasoline. López fought back. A police car drove by and alarmed the captors, who immediately fled the scene.

López was known for his criticism of local authorities and his coverage of drug trafficking in Ipiales. López said that Ipiales Mayor Gustavo Estupiñán Calvache had also recently threatened him in person, saying “be careful,” after he aired a report on irregularities in the donation of several motorcycles to the local police.

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