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Case of individuals implicated in journalist's assassination sent to trial

(CEPET/IFEX) - On 31 August 2009, a district judge in Saltillo, Coahuila state, issued an order sending to trial the case of five individuals implicated in the 25 May kidnapping and assassination of Eliseo Barrón Hernández, a reporter for the daily "La Opinión Milenio".

The National Attorney General's Office, via a press release, stated that Israel Sánchez Jaimes, José Pedro Jáuregui Jiménez, Raúl Francisco Rodríguez Valderrama, Víctor Alfredo López Ramírez and Óscar Cárdenas Castillo will go on trial for crimes pertaining to possession and sale of cocaine and marijuana, possession of restricted firearms, stockpiling of firearms and involvement in organised crime, as well as for kidnapping and premeditated murder.

The five suspects, who admitted to being members of the Los Zetas crime group, were detained on 12 June by armed forces personnel in Gómez Palacio, Durango state, and were handed over to the Federal Public Ministry. On 21 July a federal criminal court judge in the state of Niyarit issued an arrest warrant against the five as well as an order for them to be transferred to a prison facility in Coahuila.

Jáuregui Jiménez, Rodríguez Valderrama, López Ramírez and Cárdenas Castillo have given statements admitting to their participation in the kidnapping of the journalist. Meanwhile, Sánchez Jaimes has admitted to killing Barrón Hernández as well as Martha Correa Alvarado, the deputy director of the Durango State Attorney's Expert Services Department, on orders issued by Los Zetas leader and fugitive from justice Lucio Fernández, who goes by the alias "El Lucifer".

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