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Radio announcer killed while carrying out campaign against organised crime

(CEPET/IFEX) - On 23 September 2008, radio announcer Alejandro Zenón Fonseca Estrada was assassinated by armed individuals as he was carrying out a campaign against organised crime in the streets of Villa Hermosa, Tabasco, southeastern Mexico.

Fonseca Estrada was well known for his morning radio programme "El Padrino" ("The Godfather"), broadcast in Villa Hermosa by the MVS radio network.

The news of Fonseca Estrada's assassination was distributed via the websites of several media outlets, which said that the Tabasco Attorney General's Office (Procuraduría General de Justicia del Tabasco) had confirmed the death.

According to witness testimonies, at about 9:00 p.m. (local time) on 23 September, the 35-year-old radio announcer was at the intersection of Paseo Tabasco and Adolfo Ruiz Cortines streets, in the Tabasco 2000 area of Villa Hermosa, when several individuals approached and tried to kidnap him. At the time of the incident, he, along with several of his colleagues, were hanging posters denouncing kidnappings. When Fonseca Estrada resisted the attempt to abduct him, his assailants shot him with high caliber weapons, then fled the scene in a Patriot pickup truck with Texas license plates. The radio announcer, who had been shot in the chest, was taken to hospital by his driver, but he died the next morning.

The posters that Fonseca Estrada was hanging at the time he was killed said, "Kidnappers live only for as long as citizens allow it", as well as another slogan that supported Governor Andrés Granier's campaign against crime.

It appears that four individuals were involved in the killing. State and federal police officers, as well as army personnel arrived minutes after Fonseca Estrada was shot. They cordoned off the area of the killing and conducted investigations but have not yet succeeded in finding the killers.

The government of Tabasco has condemned the killing of an "exceptional member" of the news media and notified "the enemies of peace and law and order" that the fight against crime will be carried out to its end.

According to information published in "La Jornada" newspaper, Fonseca Estrada often hung posters in different parts of the city, speaking out against kidnappings and crimes that have taken place recently.

CEPET tried to contact MVS's director, Mariano Domínguez, for comments on the assassination, but has not received a response.

CEPET calls on the local and national authorities to determine who was behind Fonseca Estrada's murder and to stop the alarming wave of attacks on journalists that has been taking place in Mexico.

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