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Renewed action in case of 1988 murder of Mexican journalist

This statement was originally published on on 30 April 2015.

The Inter American Press Association (IAPA) today expressed its support for the request by the Mexican weekly newspaper Zeta concerning the investigation of the unpunished murder of its co-editor, journalist Héctor Félix Miranda, where the mastermind has still not been identified.

Zeta's complaint comes at a time when the two perpetrators of the murder, Victoriano Medina Moreno and Antonio Vera Palestina, are due to be released from prison this week after having completed their sentence. At the time they killed Miranda, in 1988, they were security agents at the Aguas Calientes racetrack in Tijuana, where Félix Miranda had reported serious irregularities.

IAPA President Gustavo Mohme, editor of the Lima, Peru, newspaper La República, stressed the solidarity of his organization with Zeta, which he called “one of the media outlets in Mexico that has suffered the most direct attacks and losses of life in recent decades.”

The Miranda case is one of the emblematic investigations which the IAPA submitted in 1997 to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR). With that body as intermediary, the IAPA and the government of Mexico signed an agreement in 2004 for review of the case file, but several weeks after said process had begun Zeta's new co-editor, Francisco Ortiz Franco, who was heading the review, was himself murdered. The IAPA also submitted that case to the IACHR.

The chairman of the IAPA's Committee on Freedom of the Press and Information, Claudio Paolillo, editor of the Montevideo, Uruguay, weekly Búsqueda, declared, “In this case there has been no closure, since the mastermind has not been identified, thus the person or persons who gave the order to execute Felix Miranda remain unpunished.”

After reasserting IAPA's commitment for the case to be fully solved, Mohme and Paolillo supported Zeta's request that the government's 2004 authorization for the IAPA to review the Miranda case file be reactivated, “and that in case of finding elements not properly investigated linking the mastermind to it, the case file be reopened.”

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