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Journalist's murder in Tabasco attributed to Los Zetas criminal gang

(CEPET/IFEX) - The Tabasco Attorney General's Office has closed the investigation into the disappearance and murder of Rodolfo Rincón Taracena, a reporter for the newspaper "Tabasco Hoy." The journalist was kidnapped on 20 January 2007 and according to the Attorney General's Office, he was killed by the Los Zetas criminal gang as a reprisal for having reported on where drugs are sold in the town of Villahermosa, Tabasco.

Silvia Isabel Gil and Juan Valdivia Bautista, respectively the spokesperson and director of the Attorney General's investigative services department, said that the authorities were able to shed light on the case as a result of confessions obtained from a number of local gang leaders and hired killers who had been detained between 2007 and 2008, all of whom are linked to Los Zetas.

According to previous reports, after Rincón Taracena published a report that revealed the location of several stores selling cocaine in Villahermosa, a street peddler named Miguel Ángel Payró Morales set up a date to meet the journalist outside the newspaper building to "settle things" with him so that he would stop doing "these types of reports."

Payró Morales made Rincón Taracena get into his car and drove him to the El Bambú country house, located at the Buena Vista ranch, in the municipality of Centro. The journalist was reportedly killed at the country house, together with four other unidentified people.

Two other drug traffickers, José Akal and Roberto Hernández Cruz or Esteban Enríquez Rodríguez, were also at the scene. According to the testimony of various detained assassins, Hernández Cruz shot the journalist in the head. Rincón Taracena's remains were then cut up and put in a gasoline and acid bath.

After a 25 April 2007 raid on the El Bambú house, the Tabasco Attorney General's Office found the remains of various individuals, which were later analysed with the assistance of the authorities in Chiapas and Michoacán states. It was impossible to determine if some of the remains were those of the journalist. Nevertheless, and after 37 months, the case was closed by the Tabasco authorities.

Rincón Taracena was the first journalist to disappear since President Felipe Calderón came to power.


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