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IAPA outraged following murder of two reporters in Guerrero

(IAPA/IFEX) - Mexico City, Mexico, June 29, 2010 - The Inter American Press Association (IAPA) today soundly condemned the ongoing violence unleashed against journalists in Mexico following the murder of two reporters in Guerrero state - bringing the number so far this year to six - and called for immediate action by the Special Prosecutor's Office for Dealing with Crimes Against Journalists to determine who is responsible.

Juan Francisco Rodríguez Ríos, correspondent for El Sol de Acapulco in Coyuca de Benítez, and his wife María Elvira Hernández Galeana, also a journalist, were killed yesterday (June 28) around 9:30 p.m. as they sat in a cyber-café with their eight-year-old son. According to eye-witnesses two armed men burst into the café and shot the pair. The child was not injured.

After offering condolences to the victims' family and colleagues, IAPA President Alejandro Aguirre, editor of the Miami, Florida, Spanish-language newspaper Diario Las Américas, declared, "We condemn this murder and we warn once again that we are facing a form of censorship that is not only costing journalists' lives but creating a culture of fear and infringing on people's right to information."

Aguirre, currently on an IAPA mission to Mexico City, added that "from this very city we are witnessing violence against society at large and the politicians running for governor in the July 4 elections in a number of states" - a reference to the murder of the candidate for governor of Tamaulipas, Rodolfo Torre Cantú.

Aguirre issued a public call on Special Prosecutor Gustavo Salas Chávez for his office to immediately investigate the murders of journalists in Mexico, where so far this year six have been killed and six have disappeared.

Rodríguez Ríos was head of Local 34 of the National Union of Press Reporters in Coyuca de Benítez, Guerrero state, southwest of Mexico City, and according to local media during its recent convention he complained about threats to freedom of expression in the region. His wife had a weekly newspaper there.

El Sol de Acapulco, which Rodríguez Ríos worked for, reported in its online edition that "according to initial investigations by members of the Ministerial Investigative Police an armed man had entered the café with the intent of robbing it."

The newspaper belongs to the Organización Editorial Mexicana (OEM), a Mexican print media company. Yesterday the IAPA condemned attacks last week on the premises of the Televisa television network and the newspaper Noticias del Sol de la Laguna in Torreón, Coahuila state – also owned by OEM.
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