Colombian journalist Antonio Jose Caballero, who covered assorted incidents involving late Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez and was an expert on Vatican issues, died Tuesday in Bogota, RCN Radio - for which he worked - reported. He was 68.
Caballero, an excellent and widely respected reporter, died in the Clinica del Country of an illness that had afflicted him for some time, the medical center said in a communique.
Born in Santander de Quilichao, in southwestern Cauca province, Caballero studied at Madrid’s Complutense University and at Italy’s RAI Television Directorate, after which he returned to Colombia, where he worked for some of the country’s most important media outlets.
Besides RCN Radio, which was his home for most of his career, he also worked for Caracol Radio, the Grupo Radial Colombiano and Viva FM, as well as for the Cromos and Antena newspapers and various television channels.
He was also a columnist for the Cali daily El Pais and wrote articles for the capital daily El Tiempo and Diners magazine.
Caballero was a special correspondent on numerous international assignments and interviewed personalities such as Cuba’s Fidel Castro, Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi and Venezuela’s Chavez.
It was Caballero who first broke the story in April 2002 that Chavez had returned to power after a failed coup d’etat.
A bullfighting enthusiast, Caballero, who spoke Italian, was the winner of five Simon Bolivar Journalism Awards, the highest journalistic honor bestowed by the Colombian press.