Antonio Jose Caballero
Image Twitter/ Luisa Pulido Rangel

Famed journalist Antonio José Caballero Velasco, known as "el reportero de Colombia" or "the Colombian reporter," died today, Tuesday, Dec. 17, in Bogotá from diabetes complications. He was 68. "The 'Clínica del Country' is saddened to inform that the patient died today at noon, after being diagnosed and treated in this institution for a sickness that had been haunting him for a while," said a statement released by the health facility where the journalist was admitted. Caballero was known for working in RNC Radio, Cromos and Antena magazines, for being the producer of the news section of Cadena Dos, Mega Televisión, Do Re Creativa, TV Impacto, Grupo Radial Colombiano and Prego Televisión.

He was also a presenter and producer of Cinevisión, Reporteros del Mundo, reporter at Caracol Radio, Viva FM, Señal Colombia and a columnist for El País, among others. He had more than 30 years of experience in the journalistic world, having covered major events for the different TV stations in Colombia. He was sent to the peace signings with the Farc in the 80's, where he interviewed Manuel Marulanda, alias "Tirofijo." Throughout his career, he also secured major interviews with influential people like Salvador Dalí, Pope John Paul II, Fidel Castro and even Muammar Gaddafi.

In 2001, the "señor reportero" exclusively informed the world about Hugo Chavez's return to power, after he broke the news of his re-election. That coverage was recognized with the award of Journalist of the Year in 2002. Although he tried to keep a low profile, his work spoke for itself and Caballero kept being awarded with several prizes like five Premios Simón Bolívar, Premio al Mejor Periodista Internacional, Premio Julián Ospina Mercado, among others. The death of Caballero leaves a void in Colombian journalism, but as fellow journalist Juan Gossaín said, "Caballero hasn't died. People like Caballero never die. They vanish, but they don't die."

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