Man gets 24 years for Colombian journalist’s killing

February 7th, 2012 - 12:10 pm ICT by IANS  

Bogota, Feb 7 (IANS/EFE) A former militiaman was sentenced to 24 years in prison for his role in the murder of journalist Alvaro Alonso Escobar, who was gunned down a decade ago in a coastal town in northern Colombia, authorities said Monday.

Edgar Ariel Cordoba Trujillo was also ordered to pay a fine equivalent to $467,950.

The sentence and fine were handed down to Cordoba by a court in Santa Marta, the capital of Magdalena province, the Attorney General’s Office said Monday.

Two unidentified individuals gunned down Escobar Dec 23, 2001, in Fundacion, Magdalena, where he edited and published the weekly Region.

Escobar was the second journalist from Fundacion murdered by gunmen. Hernando Rangel Moreno was killed April 11, 1999.

Over the past 20 years, 90 journalists have been murdered in Colombia, the Fundacion para la Libertad de Prensa said.

Cordoba, known as “Cinco Siete”, was in charge of a unit from the Northern Bloc of the United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia, or AUC, militia federation.

The AUC, accused of committing numerous human rights violations, demobilized more than 31,000 of its fighters between the end of 2003 and mid-2006 as part of the peace process with former president Alvaro Uribe’s administration.

–IANS/EFE
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