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Editor killed; reporter kidnapped

A Mexican journalist who wrote about corruption in local politics was murdered on 22 December 2009, report the Inter American Press Association (IAPA), the Observatorio Latinoamericano para la Libertad de Expresión (OLA), the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) and other IFEX members. The journalist's newspaper had received death threats in recent months and its printing press was fire bombed last November, says CPJ.

Alberto Velázquez López was the owner and editor of the Mexican newspaper "Expresiones de Tulum" in Quintana Roo state. He was also a contributor to a local television station.

He was driving home from a newspaper Christmas party when he was shot at by two men on a motorcycle. He died later in a Cancún hospital.

Velázquez López had written several articles accusing the Tulum mayor of "corruption, bad administration and disdain for the public," says CPJ. After receiving death threats, including an alleged threatening phone call from the mayor, he stopped reporting on local politics.

In a separate incident on 30 December, José Luis Romero, a police beat reporter for the radio news programme "Línea Directa" was kidnapped in Los Mochis, Sinaloa state, reports the Center for Journalism and Public Ethics (CEPET) and other IFEX members. Six hours after he was kidnapped, the officer investigating his case was shot to death, report IFEX members.

"Línea Directa" issued a statement saying Luis Romero's abduction was in reprisal for his work as a reporter; he was considered an expert on the drug trade after years of covering crime, say CEPET and CPJ.

CPJ reports that since 1992, 41 journalists have been killed in Mexico; most were covering organised crime or government corruption.

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    The journalist, who was also a lawyer, had written several articles accusing the Tulum mayor of corruption, bad administration, and disdain for the public.

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