Latin America: Week in Review

Colombian Journalist Killed By Gunman While Reading on His Terrace

March 22, 2010 By Staff

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Top Story — A gunman killed Clodomiro Castilla, the editor of the Colombian magazine El Pulso, as he sat on his terrace Friday in the city of Montería.

Castilla, 49, had previously received threats and was known for his reporting on politicians with links to paramilitary death squads. His family said that he declined an offer from the government for protection.

“When the journalist was sitting reading a book on his terrace, he was approached by a gunman, who shot him several times and fled on a motorcycle,” said state police commander Colonel Pedro Angelo Franco.

Castilla was killed in Colombia’s Cordoba State where in the 1980s landowners and drug traffickers helped  form paramilitary groups to guard against left-wing guerrillas operating in the region. The state has also seen politicians jailed for cutting deals with the now-outlawed paramilitary groups to guarantee their election.

Under the presidency of Álvaro Uribe the paramilitary groups began to demobilize, however it is reported that successor groups have formed in the wake of the demobilization. Also in late February a Colombian senator and cousin of President Uribe, Mario Uribe, was arrested on charges that he had links to the paramilitary group, the United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia (AUC).

Headlines from the Western Hemisphere

North America

  • Armed men suspected to be linked with Mexico’s drug cartels blocked roads in the city of Monterrey Friday with buses and trucks in an attempt to hinder Mexican military operations near the United States border.
  • Mexican and United States officials, including Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, plan to hold talks Tuesday focusing on security in Mexico.


  • A reconstruction plan proposed by Haitian President René Préval will require donor nations to put up $100 million in order to have a say in the process.
  • A 5.6 earthquake struck Guantanámo, Cuba, where the U.S. has a military base. Neither Cuban nor U.S. sources reported injuries.

Central America


Southern Cone

  • José Serra, the governor of the state of São Paulo in Brazil, said Friday that he will officially announce his presidential candidacy in April.
  • The World Health Organization announced Sunday that negotiators have made progress on a treaty to combat the smuggling and counterfeiting of tobacco products, which will be finalized in Uruguay in November.
  • An appellate court in Argentina’s San José province ruled to block the use of the agrochemical glyphosate near populated areas, a decision that could impact Argentina’s cultivation of transgenic soybeans.
  • A report published the Council on Hemispheric Affairs called into question Brazil’s preparation for hosting the 2014 World Cup and the Olympic Games in 2016.
  • The death count from Chile’s February earthquake was lowered Friday to 452 people.

Image: William Hook @ Flickr.

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