Investigative journalist Claudia Julieta Duque is a correspondent for the Colombian human rights radio station Radio Nizkor and a former researcher for the José Alvear Restrepo Lawyers' Collective (CCAJAR).
In more than 23 years as a journalist, she has investigated and reported on numerous high-profile cases, including those involving issues of forced disappearance, forced recruitment of children by legal and illegal armed groups, the impact of impunity and the right to justice, and infiltration of paramilitary groups in government agencies.
Claudia began receiving threats in 2001, the year she began working with CCAJAR on an investigation into the 1999 murder of fellow journalist Jaime Garzón.
Her work led her to conclude that agents of the president's Administrative Department of Security (DAS) were involved in a cover-up to divert the Prosecutor General's investigation into Garzon's murder.
From that moment, the threats and surveillance against her intensified, and she was forced to leave the country on several occasions for security reasons.
Threats were also made against her daughter. In one threat made by telephone, Claudia was told: "Your daughter is going to suffer, we're going to burn her alive, we're going to scatter her fingers around the house."
The government supplied a security detail for her protection, but Claudia suspected that some of her bodyguards were spying on her. Her suspicions were proved correct when internal reports showed that her bodyguards had informed the DAS about her activities and made false allegations against her.
In 2009, the Inter-American Commission in Human Rights (IACHR) issued precautionary measures for Claudia and her daughter. PBI has accompanied her intermittently since 2003, and on an official basis since 2010.
Claudia is the recipient of several awards for her journalistic work, including the Reporters Without Borders award and the Journalistic Courage Award, issued by the International Women's Foundation (USA). In 2010 she was made an honorary member of the British National Union of Journalists.
"I feel more secure with PBI than with an armed bodyguard or policeman at my side." Claudia Duque