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IAPA calls for investigation into journalist's disappearance to move ahead

(IAPA/IFEX) - MIAMI, Florida (August 27, 2009) - In a new move in its hemisphere-wide campaign aimed at raising awareness of the need to solve still-unpunished murders of journalists, the Inter American Press Association (IAPA) today called on Mexico's President Felipe Calderón to step in to get stalled investigations into the disappearance of journalist Rafael Ortiz Martínez to move forward.

In a letter to the Mexican head of state signed by hundreds of newspaper readers from throughout the Americas, the organization urged that action be taken so as to discover Ortiz Martínez's whereabouts and bring to justice those responsible for his disappearance. The reporter, who had received death threats over his series of exposures, was working for the Zócalo newspaper and Felicidad radio station in Monclova, Coahuila state, when he went missing on the night of July 8, 2006 after leaving the newspaper for home.

The state governor declared at the time that Ortiz Martínez had been abducted by drug traffickers, but now three years later the investigations have failed to move ahead and no suspects have been arrested or brought to trial.

The IAPA, with funding from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, is waging a hemisphere-wide campaign aimed at raising awareness of the need to solve the still-unpunished disappearances and murders of journalists in the Americas. In the last 22 years, 354 journalists have been killed in the Americas. There are a number of missing persons. In ads published in more than 400 newspapers throughout the Western Hemisphere readers are invited to join the campaign titled "Let's Put An End to Impunity" by going to the Web site http://www.impunidad.com

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