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Journalist and Human Rights Defender (Colombia)
Claudia Duque is a Colombian journalist and human rights defender who has paid a huge price for reporting in a country where, in spite of the recent peace process, the numbers of threats and attacks against the press are among the highest in the world, and where impunity remains at 98.81%, according to her own investigations.
Claudia’s investigations have led to the opening of legal cases against army members, political and judicial workers for their involvement in criminal actions. She has shed light on judicial setups, corruption, espionage and criminal alliances between State agents with paramilitary groups, among other issues.
Since 2001, she has suffered countless persecutions, including kidnapping, multiple threats, illegal surveillance of her telephones and emails, access to her bank accounts and espionage of her and her closest family members and childhood friends, as well as direct death and rape threats against her daughter in 2004, events that forced her into exile three times.
In 2010, Claudia was named honorary member of the UK National Union of Journalists and received the RSF-Sweden Press Freedom Award, the IWMF Courage in Journalism Award and the Ilaria Alpi Foundation in Italy. In 2011, Newsweek ranked her one of the ten women journalists most at risk for the sake of journalism and the Daily Beast named her one of the 150 outstanding women around the globe. In 2014, Claudia was named one of RSF’s 100 world information heroes and received a recognition from the Colombian Office of UNHCHR and the Foundation for the Freedom of the Press (FLIP) for her work against impunity in the Jaime Garzón case. In 2016, she was one of the three finalists for the Most Resilient Journalist Award, granted by Free Press Unlimited. In 2017, both the Latin American and the Colombian Federations of Journalists granted her with a special recognition for her bravery in the fight for justice.