August 10, 2006

Gunmen kill Colombian TV reporter at home

BOGOTA, Colombia (Reuters) - Gunmen burst into the home of
a Colombian radio and television reporter and shot him dead in
the second fatal attack on a journalist in the Andean nation
this year, officials said on Thursday.

Milton Fabian Sanchez was killed on Wednesday evening in
his house in Yumbo municipality in Valle de Cauca, 155 miles

south of Bogota, said Jesus Maria Serrano, secretary for
the local municipal authority.

Press organizations have often ranked Colombia one of the
most dangerous places for journalists reporting on the
country's conflict and its huge drug trade. Colombia has
struggled to end a four-decade conflict with leftist rebels and
far-right paramilitaries.

Sanchez, 30 and married with two children, worked for a
local radio and television station where he presented a local
community service program.

"He never told us of any threats against him. He was a
journalist serving his community and his work never involved
any security themes, illegal armed groups or cases of
corruption," Serrano told Reuters by telephone.

Local Cali province police commander Jose Roberto Leon said
there were no immediate details about who was responsible or
why Sanchez had been murdered.

Since 1980 more than 100 journalists have been killed in
Colombia by drug traffickers, leftist guerrillas or rightist
militiamen involved in the conflict. Attacks on journalists
have dropped, but many are still subject to death threats.