Appendix I: Journalists Murdered
CPJ research shows the following journalists have been murdered in direct relation to their work during the tenure of President Felipe Calderón Hinojosa, who took office on December 1, 2006.
Rodolfo Rincón Taracena
January 20, 2007, in Villahermosa
Rincón, 54, was last seen leaving the newsroom around 8 p.m. He had just finished an investigative article on a criminal gang targeting cash-machine customers in Villahermosa, capital of the southern Gulf coast state of Tabasco.
Rincón was considered a dogged and seasoned crime reporter. The day before he vanished, the newspaper ran a two-page spread in which he described illicit “drugstores,” or narcotiendas, run by traffickers. The story, which named several suspects, was accompanied by a map pinpointing the distribution centers and a photograph showing a family allegedly selling drugs. In his cash-machine story, Rincón specified where the criminals’ safe houses were. “It was his typical exclusive,” Roberto Cuitláhuac, the paper’s crime editor, told CPJ.
Rincón was used to getting threats, according to his longtime partner, Olivia Alaniz Cornelio, but a threat he received a month before his disappearance seemed to unnerve him. At the time, rival crime groups eager to control the state’s strategic drug smuggling routes had begun resorting to beheadings and other forms of horrific violence.
On March 1, 2010, Silvia Cuéllar, the spokesperson for the Tabasco state attorney general’s office, told a press conference that Rincón had been kidnapped and killed by the Zetas criminal group. Five low-level members allegedly confessed to the crime, with the killer identified as a man who had died in a June 2007 gunfight with Tabasco police. The authorities said the burned remains of a body found in 2007 belonged to Rincón, although DNA tests were inconclusive.
The suspects were charged with homicide and participation in organized criminal activity. They were being detained as of June 2010 pending trial.
Tabasco Hoy journalists told CPJ that they were very skeptical of the investigation, in part because of the inconclusive DNA tests. Members of the Tabasco Hoy staff, who spoke on condition of anonymity for safety reasons, told CPJ that they had received threats in response to their criticism of the probe.
Amado Ramírez Dillanes
Televisa and Radiorama
April 6, 2007, in Acapulco
Ramírez, 50, Acapulco-based correspondent for Televisa and host of the daily news program “Al Tanto” on Radiorama, was shot after leaving Radiorama studios about 7:30 p.m. Ramírez had just stepped into his car when an assailant shot him twice from outside the driver’s window, a colleague told CPJ. A wounded Ramírez ran into the lobby of a nearby hotel, but the attacker followed and shot the journalist in the back, according to press reports.
Within days, state officials detained two men, one of whom was soon released. The other suspect, Genaro Vázquez Durán, was convicted and sentenced in March 2009 to 38 years in prison. Federal authorities said Vázquez matched a description provided by witnesses and possessed illegal weapons of the type used in the murder. Vázquez’s lawyer told reporters that he would appeal.
Local human rights groups and journalists have expressed concern that no clear motive was established, that witnesses implicating Vázquez were not credible, and that some witnesses could not be placed at the crime scene. One witness, Salvador Cabrera, told an Acapulco court in November 2007 that he had been coerced into identifying Vázquez in a police lineup.
The Guerrero state attorney general’s office and the federal special prosecutor for crimes against journalists did not respond to CPJ’s requests for comment.
Ramírez’s death occurred as rival drug cartels were battling for turf and engaging in waves of execution-style killings in and around Acapulco. In March 2007, he had aired a Televisa report linking the murders of local police officers to drug traffickers. Misael Habana de los Santos, Ramírez’s co-host at Radiorama, said the journalist had received several death threats by cell phone.
Alejandro Zenón Fonseca Estrada
September 24, 2008, in Villahermosa
On the 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 Villahermosa, in the southern Gulf coast state of Tabasco, according to witnesses and local police. One of the posters read: “No to Kidnappings,” and another declared support for the Tabasco governor. Fonseca, 33, died from chest wounds at a local hospital the next morning.
Fonseca, 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 CPJ interviews.
In October 2008, Tabasco state authorities arrested five men and one woman in connection with the slaying. The next month, military officials in neighboring Chiapas state announced the arrests of three more men. Alex Alvarez Gutiérrez, deputy prosecutor for the Tabasco attorney general’s office, told CPJ that the murder was a direct result of the journalist’s anti-crime campaign.
One suspect, described as a member of the Zetas criminal group, was cooperating with Mexico’s 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 Tabasco. Those suspects also face other federal criminal charges, including kidnapping and drug trafficking counts. No trial had been scheduled as of June 2010.
Armando Rodríguez Carreón
El Diario de Ciudad Juárez
November 13, 2008, in Ciudad Juárez
An unidentified assailant gunned down Rodríguez, 40, as the veteran crime reporter sat in a company sedan in the driveway of his home. Rodríguez’s eight-year-old daughter, whom he was preparing to take to school, watched from the back seat.
Rodríguez had told CPJ that he had been receiving threats and that intimidation had become routine in the violent border city. “The risks here are high and rising, and journalists are easy targets,” Rodríguez told CPJ. “But I can’t live in my house like a prisoner. I refuse to live in fear.” Days before he was murdered, Rodríguez had written an article accusing a local prosecutor’s nephew of having links to drug traffickers.
In July 2009, the lead federal investigator working on the Rodríguez murder was shot to death. His replacement was murdered less than a month later. In an April 2010 interview with The Texas Tribune, an online news outlet, Juárez Mayor José Reyes Ferriz said there were no leads or suspects in the case.
Eliseo Barrón Hernández
May 25, 2009, in Gómez Palacio
At least seven hooded gunmen invaded the home of Barrón, a 35-year-old reporter for La Opinión, a paper based in the city of Torreón, Coahuila, in northern Mexico. Barrón had worked for the paper for 10 years, commuting from nearby Gómez Palacio, in neighboring Durango state.
As his horrified wife and two young daughters watched, assailants beat the reporter and forced him from his house into a vehicle. His body was found in an irrigation ditch with a gunshot wound to the head, according to Durango law enforcement officials. Days before his abduction, Barrón had covered a police corruption scandal that resulted in the dismissal of numerous officers, according to the newspaper Milenio, which owns La Opinión.
On the day of Barrón’s funeral, five banners purportedly signed by Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán, the notorious leader of the Sinaloa drug cartel, were hung in prominent spots in Torreón. One banner said: “We are here, journalists. Ask Eliseo Barrón. El Chapo and the cartel do not forgive. Be careful, soldiers and journalists.”
In June 2009, the Mexican army linked several suspects picked up on unrelated narcotics and weapons charges to the Barrón murder. One suspect, Israel Sánchez Jaimes, told investigators that a local cartel leader had ordered Barrón’s murder to “teach a lesson to other local journalists,” according to a statement issued by the federal attorney general’s office. In August 2009, a federal judge in Coahuila state ordered that five suspects be tried for the murder, the attorney general’s office said. A spokeswoman for the attorney general told CPJ in April 2010 that she could provide no updated information, including the suspects’ whereabouts and trial date. Barron’s colleagues told CPJ they were concerned that Sánchez’s statements were made under duress.
Norberto Miranda Madrid
September 23, 2009, in Nuevo Casas Grandes
Around 11 p.m., at least two masked gunmen burst into the offices of Radio Visión and shot Miranda multiple times in the back of the neck, a spokesman for the state prosecutor’s office told CPJ. News reports said he died at the scene. Miranda’s brother, José, a Radio Visión staffer, was present but unharmed.
Miranda, 44, known as “El Gallito” (The Tough Guy), wrote the Web column “Cotorreando con el Gallito” and was a host for the online station Radio Visión. In his last columns, he criticized the lack of safety in Nuevo Casas Grandes and its surrounding areas. His final column detailed what he said was a string of 25 execution-style murders in the area. The journalist attributed the violence to the Juárez cartel, which was battling the Sinaloa cartel for control of Chihuahua state.
Miranda had also covered the capture of members of La Linea, an armed group associated with the Juárez cartel. The coverage led to threats against Miranda from sources affiliated with the cartel, local reporters told CPJ.
Bladimir Antuna García
El Tiempo de Durango
November 2, 2009, in Durango
Two SUVs intercepted a Ford Explorer being driven by reporter Antuna on a main street in the capital city of Durango in northern Mexico. Witnesses told local reporters that five men with assault rifles pulled Antuna from his vehicle and drove him away. That evening, local authorities found Antuna’s body near the kidnapping scene with a note that read: “This happened to me for giving information to the military and for writing too much.” His body showed evidence of strangulation, according to the coroner’s report.
Antuna, 39, was a seasoned crime reporter in Durango, where the Sinaloa and Zetas crime groups were battling for turf. Antuna told the Mexico City-based Center for Journalism and Public Ethics that he had received telephone death threats, some from callers identifying themselves as members of the Zetas. He also told coworkers and the Mexico City magazine Buzos that he had received threats.
On April 28, 2009, as Antuna was leaving home, an assailant opened fire on his house, the reporter recounted in an interview with Buzos. No injuries were reported, but Antuna received a call later that day from an anonymous person who said: “We’ve found your home. It’s over for you now.” That day, Antuna reported the attack and the earlier threats to the state attorney general’s office, but he told colleagues that authorities never contacted him to follow up. Records on file at the attorney general’s office show that authorities did not take his complaint seriously, calling Antuna “paranoid.”
Antuna told the Center for Journalism and Public Ethics that he had been investigating police corruption and, in the process, had collaborated with Eliseo Barrón Hernández, a reporter who was slain in May 2009. Antuna was also investigating the May 2009 murder of fellow El Tiempo de Durango reporter Carlos Ortega Samper.
Juan López Ramírez, the state prosecutor for crimes against the press, acknowledged in a March 2010 interview with CPJ that detectives had conducted only cursory interviews with witnesses and the victim’s wife.
Valentín Valdés Espinosa
Zócalo de Saltillo
January 8, 2010, in Saltillo
Valdés, 29, a general assignment reporter for the newspaper Zócalo de Saltillo, was abducted in downtown Saltillo after several men in two SUVs intercepted the vehicle in which he was riding with two colleagues. One reporter, who remains unidentified, was abducted along with Valdés, but was later freed. The third colleague was not forced into the vehicle.
The next morning, the Coahuila attorney general’s office announced that Valdés’ body had been found in front of a local motel, the Motel Marbella. He had been shot several times, his arms and legs had been bound, and his body showed evidence of torture. A handwritten message found alongside his body read: “This is going to happen to those who don’t understand. The message is for everyone.”
The state attorney general’s office told local reporters that an organized criminal group was behind the murder. Local reporters told CPJ that Valdés was likely targeted for a December 29, 2009, story about military raids at the Motel Marbella. The story, which ran without bylines, identified a leader of the Zetas criminal group as being arrested in one of the raids. Information about the cartel leader’s capture was reported by Valdés, CPJ sources said. It was considered a message from the cartel that the reporter’s body was left at the motel.
The newspaper is not pressing authorities for a thorough investigation, its editor, Sergio Cisneros, acknowledged. “We are not going to get mixed up in it,” he told CPJ. “I don’t believe there will be results, so why push?” Cisneros said investigators did not search the newsroom or Valdés’ computer.
CPJ research shows the following journalists have been murdered during the tenure of President Felipe Calderón Hinojosa, who took office on December 1, 2006. CPJ is investigating to determine whether these killings were in direct reprisal for the victims’ work.
Saúl Noé Martínez Ortega
April 2007, in Nuevo Casas Grandes
Martínez, a 36-year-old crime reporter, was found dead in the northern state of Chihuahua a week after he was abducted by armed men in neighboring Sonora state.
Martínez was seized on the night of April 16, 2007, outside a municipal police station in Agua Prieta. Press reports said that after a high-speed chase, Martínez stopped his SUV at the entrance to the station and called for help. But heavily armed gunmen forced the reporter into their vehicle and drove off. On the morning of April 23, a passerby discovered the journalist’s body wrapped in a blanket on a road outside the town of Nuevo Casas Grandes, near the border between Chihuahua and Sonora, according to press reports and CPJ interviews.
Martínez had been dead for approximately six days, said José Larrinaga Talamantes, a spokesman for the state attorney general’s office in Hermosillo. He had been beaten and apparently died of a blow to the head, the journalist’s brother, Erick Martínez Ortega, told CPJ.
Martínez covered crime during night shifts for Interdiario, an Agua Prieta newspaper that published three times a week. Although investigators initially cited the reporter’s work as a possible motive, they have not disclosed further leads or arrests in the case.
Gerardo Israel García Pimentel
La Opinion de Michoacán
December 8, 2007, in Uruapan
After a high-speed pursuit through the streets of Uruapan, two unidentified gunmen shot García at least 20 times at close range in front of the Hotel Ruán, where the reporter lived, according to news reports. As many as 50 shell casings, most from an AR-15 semiautomatic rifle, were found at the scene, police told reporters.
García, 28, covered agriculture, education, and, at times, crime in Uruapan, the second-largest city in Michoacán. One of García’s final stories centered on a local public school teacher accused of abusing a student in a neighboring town. García had not reported any threats to his colleagues or family, La Opinion Deputy Editor Jaime Márquez Rochin told CPJ. State and federal authorities told CPJ they had not identified any suspects or motives.
Mauricio Estrada Zamora
La Opinión de Apatzingán
February 12, 2008, in Apatzingán
Estrada, 38, a crime reporter for the daily La Opinión de Apatzingán in the central state of Michoacán, was last seen leaving his newsroom to return home to his wife and young son, his family told CPJ.
Local authorities found his car the next morning in the neighboring municipality of Buena Vista Tomatlán. The vehicle’s engine was on, the doors were open, and several items were missing, including a stereo and Estrada’s camera and laptop, La Opinión journalists said. The case was assigned to the state attorney general’s kidnapping unit, and a helicopter search was conducted in outlying areas.
Estrada’s relatives told CPJ that the reporter had a dispute in January 2008 with a Federal Investigations Agency (AFI) officer they knew only as “El Diablo” (The Devil). “The day he had that fight with the AFI agent, he came home shaking,” Estrada’s wife, María Dolores Barajas, told CPJ. A spokeswoman for the federal attorney general’s office, which briefly took control of the case, said investigators could not identify any AFI agent known as “El Diablo” or make a connection between Estrada’s disappearance and a federal agent.
Barajas said that she considers her husband dead and that she has requested a death certificate from local authorities. Víctor Arredondo, a spokesman for the state attorney general, said that a death certificate would not be issued because the case might someday be reopened.
Teresa Bautista Merino
Felicitas Martínez Sánchez
La Voz que Rompe el Silencio
April 7, 2008, in Putla de Guerrero
Bautista, 24, and Martínez, 20, producers for a community radio station in the southern state of Oaxaca, were shot by unidentified men armed with assault rifles in an ambush along a rural road. Three others in the vehicle, including a young child, were injured, local news reports said.
The journalists were returning from a workshop and promotional event for their station, Radio Copala, or “La Voz que Rompe el Silencio” (The Voice that Breaks the Silence). The station, launched in January 2008 and based in the rural town of San Juan Copala, catered to the local Triqui indigenous group and offered programming in both the Triqui language and Spanish. The two producers covered a range of topics, from political news and health to education and cultural events, Jorge Albino Ortiz, general coordinator of the station, told CPJ. After the murders, the station reduced its coverage of sensitive political topics.
No arrests or developments were reported as of June 2010, according to news reports. Oaxaca state officials did not respond to CPJ requests for comment.
The area surrounding San Juan Copala, part of Oaxaca’s impoverished Mixteca region, has been known for long-running political and land disputes, often linked to power brokers from Oaxaca state’s ruling Institutional Revolutionary Party. Pro-state government paramilitary groups have been present in the area. In January 2007, tensions escalated when a Triqui movement declared its intention to make San Juan Copala an autonomous municipality.
Miguel Angel Villagómez Valle
La Noticia de Michoacán
October 10, 2008, between Lázaro Cárdenas and Zihuatanejo
Police found Villagómez’s body, bruised and riddled with gunshot wounds, in a garbage dump near a coastal highway between the towns of Lázaro Cárdenas, where he edited the regional newspaper La Noticia de Michoacán, and Zihuatanejo, where he lived with his wife and three children.
Villagómez, 29, had last been seen the night before, when he left his newsroom in Lázaro Cárdenas, a port city on the southern Pacific coast of Michoacán, around 10:30 p.m. and dropped two colleagues off at their homes, law enforcement officials and journalists told CPJ.
Villagómez’s wife, Irania Iveth Leyva Faustino, told CPJ that her husband had received recent phone threats from callers identifying themselves as members of the Zetas criminal group. Villagómez’s paper regularly covered crime, including cartel activities. Authorities did not disclose any arrests or other information on the case.
Jean Paul Ibarra Ramírez
February 13, 2009, in Iguala
Ibarra, a photographer for the Iguala newspaper El Correo, and Yenny Yuliana Marchán Arroyo, a contributor to the local daily Diario 21, were riding a motorcycle to an assignment around 10 p.m. A gunman aboard a second motorcycle pulled alongside and fired repeatedly, according to news reports and the special prosecutor for crimes against journalists.
The gunman then shot the photographer a final time in the head, police told CPJ. Ibarra, 33, died at the scene, press reports said. Marchán, 22, was hit three times and suffered leg wounds. Local journalists told CPJ that Ibarra had mentioned receiving at least one threat in relation to his work.
In March 2009, state investigators announced the arrest of a local merchant, Mario Cereso Barrera, and said the killing had been motivated by a dispute over a necklace transaction. Local reporters told CPJ they were skeptical about the investigation, particularly the alleged motive and investigators’ apparent failure to interview witnesses. Guerrero state human rights officials have seconded their concerns. Hipólito Lugo Cortes, director of the Guerrero state human rights commission, issued a statement expressing concern that Cereso had made self-incriminating statements under duress.
The Guerrero state attorney general’s office did not respond to CPJ requests for comment on the case or the accusations made by the local human rights office. Cereso remained in detention without formal charge as of June 2010.
Carlos Ortega Samper
El Tiempo de Durango
May 3, 2009, in Santa María El Oro
Two pickup trucks intercepted Ortega, a reporter for the daily El Tiempo de Durango, as he was driving home in the town of Santa María El Oro in the northern state of Durango, colleagues told CPJ.
Four unidentified individuals got off the trucks and pulled the reporter from his car, El Tiempo de Durango journalists said. As he resisted, the assailants shot him three times in the head with a .40-caliber pistol, according to news reports and CPJ interviews. Ortega, 52, died at the scene.
In an April 2 article, the journalist had alleged that Mayor Martín Silvestre Herrera and Juan Manuel Calderón Guzmán, the local representative for federal programs, had threatened him in connection with his recent reporting on the conditions of a local slaughterhouse. In the same story, Ortega wrote that he was investigating allegations of corruption involving a local police officer, Salvador Flores Triana. In a subsequent story, his last, journalist said that the three men should be held responsible if anything were to happen to him or his family.
Ortega had worked as the Santa María El Oro correspondent for El Tiempo de Durango for less than a year. His editor, Saúl García, told CPJ that he believed Ortega had been killed in retaliation for his reporting on local government corruption. Authorities did not disclose a possible motive.
Silvestre told CPJ that he had no involvement in the murder. While acknowledging having had disagreements with Ortega, the mayor said he had never threatened him. CPJ phone calls to the other two officials went unanswered in 2009. Phone messages left for Calderón in May 2010 were not returned. Flores could not be located for comment in May 2010.
No suspects had been detained as of June 2010.
Juan Daniel Martínez Gil
Radiorama and W Radio
July 28, 2009, in Acapulco
Martínez, 48, anchor of the radio news programs “W Acapulco” on national W Radio and “Guerrero en Vivo” on local Radiorama Acapulco, was found gagged and partially buried in a vacant lot in La Máquina, a town in the southern Pacific state of Guerrero. The journalist’s body showed evidence of torture, with his hands and feet tied and head wrapped in tape, authorities told local reporters. A forensic examination found that Martínez had been asphyxiated, the newsweekly Proceso reported.
Enrique Silva, Radiorama Acapulco’s news director, told CPJ that Martínez covered a range of issues, but always took precautions when covering drug trafficking or other sensitive topics. “He was disciplined that way,” said Silva. “He knew he could not go deep on certain stories.”
Silva said the authorities reviewed Martínez’s laptop and interview archives. Javier Martínez Gil, the reporter’s brother, told CPJ in May 2010 that authorities had not informed him of any suspects or leads. “The case has gone cold,” he said.
The Guerrero state attorney general’s office and the Mexico City-based special federal prosecutor for crimes against journalists did not respond to CPJ’s requests for interviews.
José Emilio Galindo Robles
Radio Universidad de Guadalajara
November 24, 2009, in Ciudad Guzmán
Galindo, anchor and faculty director of a radio station affiliated with Universidad de Guadalajara, was found dead inside his home in Ciudad Guzmán in the western state of Jalisco.
Galindo, 43, was gagged and tied to a bed, although he died of a blow to the head, according to authorities quoted in local press reports. Galindo mainly covered environmental issues and political corruption for the Ciudad Guzmán-based station. He hosted a nightly radio and television program, and directed several other radio news broadcasts. The university said Galindo contributed to several local and national newspapers as well.
Local authorities declined to comment on the case when approached by CPJ. Jorge Lomelí, Radio Universidad de Guadalajara’s general producer in Ciudad Guzmán, told CPJ that state investigators had visited the station twice to conduct interviews but had not reviewed Galindo’s recent work.
José Alberto Velázquez López
Expresiones de Tulum
December 22, 2009, in Tulum
Two men on a motorcycle shot Velázquez twice shortly after the newspaper owner left a staff Christmas party, the paper’s deputy editor, Luis Gamboa, told CPJ. Velázquez was taken to a hospital in Cancún where he died that night, local press reports said. Local reporters told CPJ that Velázquez reported receiving anonymous death threats in the months before his death. The newspaper’s printing press was also firebombed in November 2009.
Velázquez wrote articles that were critical of local officials, including the mayor of Tulum. Two reporters who interviewed Velázquez at the hospital on the night he died told CPJ that the publisher had identified the assailants as allies of the mayor. The mayor, Marciano Dzul Caamal, did not respond to repeated efforts by CPJ to reach him for response. But the day after the murder, his office issued a statement repudiating the killing and committing the mayor to helping solve it. In interviews with CPJ, some local journalists accused Velázquez of unethical business practices, including extortion, that could have played a role in the killing.
José Luis Romero
January 2010, in Los Mochis
Masked men kidnapped Romero as he entered a restaurant in Los Mochis about 6 p.m. on December 30, 2009, bundling the reporter into a waiting SUV, according to news reports and CPJ interviews. Eliu Lorenzo Patiño, a former military officer who was accompanying Romero, was also abducted and remained missing as of June 2010.
The detective assigned to the abductions was himself murdered about six hours after the kidnappings were reported, Mexican press reports said. The state attorney general told reporters that the two cases might be connected, according to press reports.
On January 16, 2010, Romero’s body was found along a rural road near Los Mochis, said Rolando Bon López, Sinaloa’s assistant state prosecutor. The body had signs of torture; Romero had been shot and his hands had been broken, Bon López said.
Romero had covered the crime beat for the statewide radio broadcaster Línea Directa for 10 years, News Director Luis Alberto Díaz told CPJ. He said he believed Romero was the victim of one of two warring drug cartels. Díaz said murdering a well-known broadcaster fit into the cartels’ intentions to intimidate the public. “They want to seed psychosis among the audience; they want to terrorize; they want to keep people’s mouths shut,” Díaz said. No developments had been reported in the case as of June 2010.
Jorge Ochoa Martínez
El Sol de la Costa
January 29, 2010, in Ayutla de los Libres
Ochoa, an editor and publisher in Guerrero state, was shot after leaving a birthday party for a local politician, local reporters told CPJ. Ochoa owned El Sol de la Costa, a small-circulation weekly based in Ayutla de los Libres. María del Carmen Castro, Ochoa’s widow, told local reporters that her husband had received anonymous cell phone threats.
A suspect identified as Alberto Bravo Jerónimo was arrested in connection with the murder on March 16, according to Albertico Guinto Sierra, acting state attorney general of Guerrero. Bravo allegedly confessed to killing Ochoa after a traffic dispute, and said the two had argued in the past. Officials said Bravo’s gun matched forensic analyses of the weapon used in the murder.
Evaristo Pacheco Solís
March 12, 2010, in Chilpancingo
Pacheco was found alongside a rural road in the Guerrero state capital of Chilpancingo with five gunshot wounds, one to the head, according to news reports citing law enforcement officials.
Pacheco, 33, a reporter for the weekly Visión Informativa, was the second journalist in two months to be murdered in the state of Guerrero, a southern Pacific coast state with strategic transit points and agricultural land used by drug cartels. Albertico Guinto Sierra, acting state attorney general of Guerrero, told CPJ that investigators had not identified a motive or suspects.
Media Support Workers Murdered
CPJ research shows the following media support workers were murdered in the course of their duties during the tenure of President Felipe Calderón Hinojosa, who took office on December 1, 2006.
Mateo Cortés Martínez
Agustín López Nolasco
Flor Vásquez López
El Imparcial del Istmo
October 8, 2007, between Salina Cruz and Tehuantepec
Assailants in an SUV pursued and intercepted a newspaper delivery truck bearing the logo of the daily El Imparcial del Istmo along a rural stretch of highway connecting the cities of Salina Cruz and Tehuantepec in southern Mexico, according to local news accounts. The attackers shot Cortés, the driver, and delivery workers López and Vásquez at close range, El Imparcial del Istmo reported.
Luis David Quintana, El Imparcial del Istmo’s deputy director, told local reporters that the newspaper had received several threatening e-mail messages and letters in the previous month, warning the paper to tone down coverage of local drug trafficking. Numerous staff members resigned a day after the murders, Quintana told CPJ.