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Radio host beaten in Chihuahua, his coverage the suspected motive

(CEPET/IFEX) - Juan Enrique López Aguirre, host of the city of Chihuahua-based Antena 760 radio station's "No le cambie" news programme, was assaulted by two unidentified assailants on 7 March 2008 when he arrived at his residence. The incident occurred in the La Joya neighbourhood of the city of Chihuahua, in the northern Mexican state of the same name.

In an interview with "El Heraldo de Chihuahua" newspaper, López Aguirre said that when he arrived home at approximately 1:00 a.m. (local time), he was attacked from behind by two strangers who beat him on the head and back. When he fell to the ground, they continued beating him, using a club or a piece of pipe. The two assailants fled after the attack.

He was brutally beaten all over his body; however, he notes, neither his car nor his personal effects were stolen, which would indicate that the attack is likely related to his journalism, although the precise perpetrator cannot be determined, since López Aguirre had not received threats prior to the assault.

The journalist filed a complaint with the state attorney-general's office.

López Aguirre notes that some people have been displeased by his coverage: "They don't like what I say, but I've never had such a serious threat before; the authorities think the attack was not because the assailants intended to rob me, but rather, wanted to attack me," he told "El Heraldo de Chihuahua".

Chihuahua has been one of the Mexican states with the highest number of assaults on journalists in 2008. Journalists of "Norte" newspaper in Ciudad Juárez have received threats, and there have been three incidents involving acts of aggression by police toward reporters or photographers of "El Diario" and "El Heraldo de Chihuahua".

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