Colombian journalist dodges would-be killers

Bogota, May 2 (EFE).- A prominent Colombian investigative journalist emerged unhurt after two gunmen fired shots at his car, the editor of newsweekly Semana said Thursday.

Ricardo Calderon "emerged completely unhurt, thanks to the fact that he managed to throw himself, in the middle of the night, to the side of the highway, while these assassins fired at the vehicle and left five bullet holes," Alejandro Santos said.

The attack was staged on Wednesday night when Calderon stopped at a highway toll gate, some 64 kilometers (40 miles) from the capital, after having spoken with sources as part of an investigation into alleged irregularities in the management of a military fort.

Before the attack, Calderon noticed that he was clearly "being followed," Santos told Blu Radio.

When he stopped at the toll gate a gray vehicle with tinted windows blocked his way, according to what Calderon told the authorities.

"Two individuals got out, they called him by his name and just after he answered they began firing," Santos added.

"It's an issue that not only affects Ricardo, whom we defend and support, as a person, it's an attack on freedom of the press and the critical spirit of investigation," Santos said.

The editor's uncle, Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos, commented on the attack via Twitter, saying: "I asked the Director of Police (Jose Roberto Leon RiaƱo) to personally take charge of the investigation to find those responsible for the offensive deed."

Calderon uncovered illegal government surveillance and wiretapping of journalists, judges and opposition politicians during the 2002-2010 administration of President Alvaro Uribe.