BY Tommy Hodgson

Freelance journalist shot in western Colombian city of Tuluá

Marcos Efraín Montalvo worked as a reporter since the 1970s.

He was shot four times by an unknown man while talking to a friend in a shop in Tuluá on September 19, 2021. The gunman did not rob the store and fled straight away.

Montalvo's recent reporting had all been on his public Facebook page, often reporting on corruption of local officials. He had also written about the state of organised crime, in Tuluá, including the Cilantro Cartel which allegedly extorted produce sellers in the city.

It was reported that Montalvo had previously been assaulted and threatened to stop reporting on sensitive issues, and had further received death threats on Facebook but did not report these instances to the police. The Colombian organisation Foundation for Press Freedom (FLIP) concluded that there are “enough clues to maintain that the homicide is related to [Montalvo's] critical reporting on corruption and local criminal groups.”