updated 1/11/2005 5:26:23 PM ET 2005-01-11T22:26:23

Gunmen on a motorbike in northern Colombia on Tuesday killed a radio journalist known for his tough talk against corruption, police said.

Julio Hernando Palacios, who hosted the “El Viento” (“The Wind”) program for independent Radio Lemas, was shot in the head and stomach as he drove to work in the city of Cucuta, near the border with Venezuela, said the city’s police chief, Col. Jose Humberto Henao.

Despite his wounds, Palacio drove back to his house and told his family to take him to hospital, where he later died, Henao told reporters.

Henao said the two assailants on a white-and-blue motorbike immediately fled the scene of the shooting but crashed about 100 yards away, possibly injuring one of them. He said a reward will be offered for information leading to their capture.

Second attempt
Palacios survived an earlier attack in 1996 when unidentified assailants threw a hand grenade into his office, but the device failed to explode.

The radio personality was known in Cucuta for denouncing corruption as well as his staunch support for conservative President Alvaro Uribe, who is pursuing an aggressive military buildup against Colombia’s insurgent groups.

Colombia is one of the most dangerous countries in the world for journalists, with at least 156 reporters killed between 1977 and 2004, according to government figures. Marxist rebels, right-wing paramilitary militias, drug trafficking gangs and common criminals have all been blamed.

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