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Editor slain

A Mexican editor was shot in the face and killed on 29 January, report the Center for Journalism and Public Ethics (CEPET), the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) and other IFEX members.

Jorge Ochoa Martínez, a Mexican editor and publisher in Guerrero State, was murdered after he left a party held in honour of a local politician, report CEPET and CPJ. He owned two small-circulation newspapers: the weekly "El Oportuno" and the twice-weekly "El Sol de la Costa". Ochoa Martínez is the third Mexican journalist to be murdered this year.

Conditions in Guerrero are deadly due to ongoing clashes between drug cartels. And a culture of impunity has created self-censorship, says CPJ. "None of the newspapers write about drug cartels or things like corrupt police or officials," a local journalist, who knew Ochoa Martínez, told CPJ. However, Ochoa Martínez's family told Reporters Without Borders (RSF) that they "did not rule out the possibility that he was killed in connection with his work."

Authorities have failed to respond effectively to a number of threats against media personnel by presumed drug traffickers and, in some cases, by local officials, reports RSF.

"Mexican authorities must break the cycle of impunity in journalists' murders and punish all those responsible for killing Ochoa. Violence has effectively halted the work of the press and is causing lasting damage to Mexican democracy," said CPJ.

The Inter American Press Association (IAPA) will be visiting Mexico next week to talk to President Felipe Calderón and state officials about "the need for legal, judicial and administrative reforms that enable coordinated efforts at the national level to combat violence and impunity, as well as security measures and protective actions to strengthen freedom of the press." IAPA has sent 19 international delegations to Mexico in the past 15 years.

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  • Editor killed in Guerrero

    Jorge Ochoa Martínez, editor of "El Sol de la Costa" newspaper, was killed by a gunshot to the head.

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