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Journalist Rafael Ortiz Martínez still missing; Coahuila governor blames drug traffickers

(IAPA/IFEX) - The following is a 27 June 2007 IAPA press release:

IAPA CALLS FOR STEPPED UP ACTION IN DISAPPEARANCE OF JOURNALIST

MIAMI, Florida (June 27) - The Inter American Press Association (IAPA), in the name of the international community, today urged Mexico's President Felipe Calderón to act to speed up inquiries to determine the whereabouts of Mexican journalist Rafael Ortiz Martínez, who went missing a year ago, and identify those responsible for his disappearance.

Ortiz Martínez, a reporter for the newspaper Zócalo and news director of the Felicidad radio station, disappeared on July 8, 2006 in Monclova in the northern Mexican state of Coahuila. The state governor says he was abducted by drug traffickers. Despite that, investigators have made no progress in their inquiries and the case remains unsolved.

The IAPA is inviting newspaper readers throughout the Americas to join its "Let?s Put an End to Impunity" campaign on its Web site www.impunidad.com A letter containing their signatures calling for harsh punishment of those guilty of committing or masterminding crimes against journalists is sent each month to the top officials of the country concerned.

As part of its campaign the IAPA will be holding on July 18-20 a Hemispheric Conference on The Judiciary, The Press and Impunity, a history-making dialogue among jurists and journalists designed to reinforce mechanisms aimed at combating the scourge of impunity.

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