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Colombia Photographer Gets Death Threat

March 5, 2003

BOGOTA, Colombia (AP) _ The president of Colombia’s photographer’s union said Tuesday that she will flee the country because of death threats she and other union members have received.

``I can’t eat,″ Gladys Barajas told the Associated Press. ``My life has completely cracked.″

Barajas, who works as a photographer for a movie and television company called Raya Productions, has received a series of threats over the last year.

This South American nation is one of the most dangerous places in the world to be a journalist. At least 114 journalists have been murdered over the last 14 years in Colombia, according to the Inter American Press Association.

Barajas has been the president of Colombia’s Circle of Graphic Reporters _ a 53-year-old organization _ for the last five years.

The union has always condemned aggressive acts against its members _ though never targeted any particular group, Barajas said, adding that she has no idea who might be making the threats.

Colombia is torn by a 38-year civil war that pits leftist rebels against the government and right-wing paramilitary groups. About 3,500 people, mainly civilians, die in the fighting each year.

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