On the 20th of May, the board that safeguards journalist rights demanded that the Colombian policymakers stop their harassment of Andes Bureau who works for the New York Times. The journalist, who also partners with the local press freedom, has since left Colombia. Senator Fernanda stated in a tweet on May 18 that the journalist was on tour with the armed forces of Colombia.
She also tagged Casey’s photo alongside the tweet. More tweets came along including that one for David Vélez, a democratic center Politician, accusing Casey of working with FARC and creating news full of slander. In response, a tweet came from FLIP who supported the journalist.
However, Senator Álvaro Uribe reacted by tweeting that the organization was supporting Casey’s prejudice and would eventually lead to libel against the Colombia armed forces and encouragement of narco-terrorism.
The harassment began after Casey’s published report
The social media harassment took place after the May 18th broadcast of a column in which Casey wrote that the leader of Colombia’s army had just ordered troops to multiply the number of convicts and militants they murder. The program director for CPJ, Carlos Martínez de la Serna, said the policymakers are entitled to question any published reporting.
Nevertheless, aimless comments like those made against the reporter have the likelihood to jeopardize his safety and deter reporting on delicate matters in Colombia.
Security reasons led to Casey escaping from the country
According to Carlos Martínez, a risky situation such as the one faced by the reporters in Colombia is vital that media people and press freedom agencies like the FLIP not be harassed by politicians due to their jobs. The FLIP noted in the May 19th tweet in solidarity with Casey that the policymakers had made unfair allegations that could imply the start for an attack against the media.