Freedom of Expression

Press Release R49/12






Washington, D.C., May 16, 2012 – The Office of the Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) condemns the terrorist attack in Bogotá that targeted Fernando Londoño Hoyos, director of a morning show at the Super Radio Station, and the death of two of his bodyguards. The Office of the Special Rapporteur sends a message of condolence to the victims’ families and urges the competent authorities to carry out a diligent, timely, and thorough investigation that identifies the motives and the perpetrators of the criminal act.


According to the information received, on May 15th, a powerful explosive detonated in the vehicle where the ex-Minister of the Interior and of Justice was traveling, causing the death of two victims and injuries to at least 41 people, some of which were particularly serious. The motive for the attack is still unknown, although there are contradicting theories about the possible objectives of the criminals. The ex-Minister was being protected by a strong security detail provided by the Government in light of threats that he had received, and according to reports, the armored car that was given to him enabled him to survive this serious attack. Nevertheless, his driver, Ricardo Rodriguez, and one of his bodyguards, Rosemburg Burbano, were killed. The President of the Republic expressed his categorical rejection of the attack, offering a reward of up to 500 million pesos (US$ 280,000) for anyone who provides information leading to the capture of the responsible parties, and a special commission has been formed to identify the causes of the attack.


For the Office of the Special Rapporteur, it is necessary for the authorities to act in a timely manner to identify the masterminds and the causes of this crime, to prosecute and sanction the responsible parties, and to demand that they provide adequate reparations to the victims of this serious attack. Terrorist acts that seek to impede the exercise of freedom of expression of any person or to bypass democratic debate about matters of national interest should be met with strict punishment that is proportionate to the level of harm caused.


The Office of the Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression was created by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) to encourage the defense of the right to freedom of thought and expression in the hemisphere, given the fundamental role this right plays in consolidating and developing the democratic system.


For more information on the Office of the Special Rapporteur, please visit: