Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Police beat reporter murdered in Oaxaca

Guadalajara -
In the southwestern Mexican state of Oaxaca (wo-haa-ka), a police docket reporter for the local newspaper El Imparcial was found dead this morning outside the capital of Oaxaca de Juárez.

The body of Alberto López Bello was beside another man. Both victims "presented severe injuries," according to the state prosecutor.

Several weeks ago López and colleagues were arrested by police while photographing narcomantas hanging from a bridge overpass. A narcomanta is a handwritten placard threatening future violence, like this one. They are frequently displayed by drug cartels, or left at brutal execution scenes, to instill terror in the community.

The reasons for the men's arrests are not clear, but they were soon released.

Two months ago a London based press advocacy group reported that attacks against journalists and press facilities in this country rose 20% in the first quarter of the year, compared with 2012. Attacks on Mexican journalists on the rise in 2013.

Since the year 2000, more than 85 Mexican journalists have died in the course of duty, most of them presumed victims of drug cartel and organized crime violence. Few of the cases have been resolved.

Some Mexican newspapers have ceased drug war coverage altogether, to protect writers, editors and staff members from intimidation, reprisals or worse. Drug war terror muzzles much of Mexican press

On its front page today, El Imparcial demanded a thorough investigation. "This incident demonstrates the vulnerability of journalists who labor every day just to report the truth to the citizenry," it wrote.

Mar. 8 - A mass bridge hanging, accompanied by a narcomensaje
Apr. 17 - Guadalajara newspaper hit by grenade attack

© MGRR 2013. All rights reserved. This article may be cited or briefly quoted with proper attribution or a hyperlink, but not reproduced without permission.

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