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IAPA condemns murder of two more journalists, calls for investigation

(IAPA/IFEX) - Miami (July 16, 2009) - The Inter American Press Association (IAPA) today expressed outrage at the murder of two Mexican journalists in Chihuahua and Michoacan states and called on authorities there to carry out a prompt investigation to uncover the motives and identify the perpetrators responsible for the crimes.

Ernesto Montañez Valdivia, publisher of the El Sol, Chihuahua, magazine Enfoque, was killed on Tuesday (July 14), victim of an armed assault in Ciudad Juárez while riding a pickup driven by his teenage son who was shot in the neck and seriously injured, the Mexican newspaper El Financiero reported. Montañez died from gunshot wounds to the chest and neck.

Meanwhile, the murder two days earlier of Martín Javier Miranda Avilés, a reporter with the newspaper Panorama and correspondent of the Quadratin news agency in Zitácuaro, Michoacán, was revealed. He was found stabbed to death inside his home.

The chairman of the IAPA's Committee on Freedom of the Press and Information, Robert Rivard, editor of the San Antonio Express-News, Texas, declared, "We offer our sympathy to family members and colleagues of the two journalists and urge local authorities to conduct a prompt investigation into the reasons behind the murders and to bring those responsible to justice."

So far this year the IAPA has recorded four other murders of journalists - reporters Eliseo Barrón Hernández, Carlos Ortega Melo Samper, Luis Daniel Méndez Hernández and Jean Paul Ibarra Ramírez.

Mexican news media have reported that in the period between July 10th and 14th there were 41 murders in the country believed to be linked to organized crime. Twelve of these were committed in Ciudad Juárez, one of the country's most dangerous cities.
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