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"El Diario" and "PM" newspaper distributor killed in Ciudad Juárez

(CEPET/IFEX) - Maribel Hernández, who worked as a distributor of "El Diario" and the evening paper "PM" in Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua, was shot to death on the afternoon of 31 Janaury 2011, while riding in a vehicle owned by, and bearing the logos of, the media company.

According to the information published by the newspaper, the incident took place around 5:00 p.m. at the intersection of Vicente Guerrero and Rafael Velarde streets, in the centre of Ciudad Juárez where Hernández worked for at least five years, supplying newspapers to vendors in the area.

Hernández was in the driver's seat of a green Chevrolet Astro, bearing the "PM" logo on the hood, when a man approached the car, shot at it with a 9-millimeter weapon, and then escaped in a blue Windstar with a Texas licence plate.

The suspect, Ramsés Robles Morales, was detained by federal police. Morales said he is a member of La Línea, a group connected to the Juárez drug cartel, and that he had received 3,000 pesos (approx. US$250) to kill Hernández.

"El Diario" management told CEPET that although they could not say categorically that Hernández's death was a message directed at the personnel of the media outlet, local editors, reporters and photographers have received warnings about entering the area where Hernández was killed, as it is known to be a center of illicit drug trafficking.

They said that the motive is yet unknown, but that newspaper employees in the area are feeling more vulnerable as a result of the attack. Hernández was 31 and had five children.

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