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New Death Threats For 'El Nuevo Herald' Reporter In Colombia.

Death threats forced El Nuevo Herald's Colombia correspondent, Gonzalo Guillen, to flee the country for several weeks this fall. Now the threats are starting again, following publication in The Miami Herald's Spanish-language sibling of Guillen articles that included suggestions Colombian President Alvaro Uribe had links to the former cocaine kingpin Pablo Escobar.

The Lima, Peru-based press freedom group Institute for Press and Society (IPYS, for its initials in Spanish) reported Tuesday that the death threats began following publication of the articles last week.

The most recent call reached him on his cell phone, IPYS reported.

Guillen has filed a complaint about the threats with the Individual LibertyUnit of the Office of Prosecutor 246 in Bogota, IPYS said.

Last fall, the threats followed public accusations by Uribe that Guillen collaborated on a book by a former Colombia TV talk show host that alleged a relationship between the president and Escobar.

In the most recent articles, Guillen reported that Colombia's so-called anti-corruption czar, Rodrigo Lara Restrepo, had resigned because the Uribe administration had hid from him a file of information compiled in relation with the murder of his father, Rodrigo Lara Bonilla, a former justice minister murdered by drug traffickers in 1984.

Lara said he was surprised when he learned in an interview with another Nuevo Herald reporter, Gerardo Reyes, that the newspaper had obtained the file. Information in the file examined allegations that drug figures had infiltrated politics during the 1980s. It included information about Uribe's father, who was said to be the owner of a helicopter found in a huge cocaine manufacturing lab. Uribe has said the helicopter actually belonged to a neighbor, and had been sold by the time it was discovered at the lab, Guillen reported in the Nuevo Herald article.

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Author:Fitzgerald, Mark
Publication:Editor & Publisher
Article Type:Brief article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Dec 18, 2007
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