evening of September 23, 2008, four unidentified men in a van shot Fonseca as
he hung anti-crime posters on a major street in the capital city of
witnesses and local police. One of the posters read: “No to Kidnappings,” and
another declared support for the
governor. Fonseca, 33, died from chest wounds at a local hospital the next
known by the affectionate Mexican nickname “The Godfather,” was the charismatic
host of a popular morning call-in show “El Padrino Fonseca” (The Godfather
Fonseca), geared toward young listeners. On his show, Fonseca had announced
plans to hang the posters in line with his anti-crime campaign, according to
state authorities arrested five men and one woman in connection with the
slaying. The next month, military officials in neighboring
more men. Alex Alvarez Gutiérrez, deputy prosecutor for the
that the murder was a direct result of the journalist’s anti-crime campaign.
suspect, described as a member of the Zetas criminal group, was cooperating
anti-organized crime unit and was being held in a witness protection program.
The remaining suspects were charged with Fonseca’s murder and were being held
in a high-security prison in Nayarit state, according to the federal attorney
general’s office, local news reports, and CPJ interviews with reporters in
also face other federal criminal charges, including kidnapping and drug trafficking
counts. No trial had been scheduled as of June 2010.