Lawyer/radio journalist murdered, authorities should not rule out journalism connection

Reporters Without Borders demands a thorough investigation of the murder of lawyer and radio host Édison Alberto Molina in Puerto Berrío, in the northwestern department of Antioquia, on 11 September, 2013.

Molina hosted a regular program on the Puerto Berrío Stereo community radio station, and as he left the station by motorcycle, he was hit with four gunshots to the head. He was accompanied by his wife, who was wounded but survived the attack.

“We hope that the investigation will rapidly uncover the authors of this crime and determine the motive,” Reporters Without Borders said. “On his program, Édison Alberto Molina frequently had accused the local government of corruption. We urge investigators not to discard the possibility that the killing was linked to Molina’s journalistic work.”

In other cases, authorities too often have shown a tendency to rule out a connection to a victim’s journalism, the press freedom organization said, citing the murder last July of radio director José Naudín Gómez.

Molina hosted the radio program “Consultorio Jurídico,” a legal advice call-in show. He had been receiving death threats in recent months. Two weeks before he was murdered, rocks had been thrown at his law office. A few minutes after the killing, Puerto Berrío city councilman Francisco Villa said he had received a phone call warning that he would be the next victim.

Authorities have offered a 20 million peso (approximately 10,400 USD) reward for information leading to the arrest of whoever was responsible for Molina’s murder.