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Monday, February 1, 2010

Journalist Killed in Guerrero

The editor-in-chief of the El Sol de la Costa newspaper has been murdered in southern Mexico.

 Jorge Ochoa Martínez

Chilpancingo, Gro — Journalist Jorge Ochoa Martínez was killed from a single gunshot to the head, Ochoa Martínez is the editor of the weekly El Sol de la Costa in the municipality of Ayutla in the Costa Grande. The wave of violence related to organized crime continues in Guerrero where news media reported seven murders in the last few hours.

Police in Ayutla found the body while responding to a call about a "dead man inside an automobile" a short distance from city hall. The Secretariat of Public Security and Protection in the state reported that Ochoa Martinez was found Friday night in his car with a bullet to his head not long after having dinner in the restaurant one block from City Hall in Ayutla.

No arrests have been made and the motive for the killing has not been determined.

Jorge Ochoa Martínez was killed Friday night from a bullet to the face. Early reports indicate that several men followed him as he left dinner at a restaurant in Ayutla. The pictures shows moments of the funeral in Chilpancingo.

The local police chief Valentín Díaz Reyes said that "as it happens in such cases, people who witnessed the crime refused to give their version of events. But the preliminary investigation was initiated in order to locate those responsible."

Ochoa Martinez published his weekly in Ayutla and worked as a reporter for the police beat. Ochoa Martinez's colleagues at El Sol de la Costa told Efe that he had not had any problems with anyone and called for action in the case.

The delegation XVII Guerrero of the National Union of Press Editors (SNRP), condemned the murder and called on state and federal government to guarantee the safe exercise of journalism.

A total of 59 journalists have been killed since 2000 - not including Ochoa Martinez - and nine more remain missing, according to Mexico's independent National Human Rights Commission, which also has documented seven bomb attacks on media installations during that same period.

Many of the killings have been carried out to silence members of the media who were reporting on drug trafficking and organized crime.

Ochoa Martinez is the third journalist killed in the country so far this year. On January 7 Valentin Valdes from the newspaper Zócalo Saltillo in Coahuila was murdered and on January 14 Jose Luis Romero a radio journalist in Sinaloa also killed. Both had been abducted and their bodies showed signs of torture. In 2009 14 journalists were killed in Mexico.

With this execution of Journalist Jorge Ochoa Martínez, the list of journalists killed during the PAN government in Mexico rose to 60. During this period, eight journalists have disappeared and there were seven attempts to plant explosives in media outlets, this according to a survey carried out two weeks ago by the National Commission on Human Rights.

Just in the state of Guerrero five journalists have been gunned down since 2003 and one is missing. The first was Rafael Villafuerte Aguilar, editor of La Razón, also was that of Misael Tamayo, director of El Despertar de la Costa (Grande) who was executed in Zihuatanejo in 2006. Then there were Amado Ramírez Dillanes correspondent for Televisa in Acapulco in 2007, and last year was Jean Paul Ibarra Ramirez a photographer for the newspaper El Correo.

In addition, Leodegario Aguilera Lucas, editor of the Mundo Político has been missing since 2004. All these cases remain unsolved.

The violence continues in the state of Guerrero, law enforcement found two bodies under the bridge called The Chipote, another in the city dump, and yet another in the Colegio de Bachilleres, while another in an irrigation canal. One body was found in Cocula and another in Iguala.

In the state of Sinaloa the bodies of two men were found abandoned in a dirt field. In Culiacan the unknown identity of a male body was found while in Nuevo Leon they also found the body of a man.

La Jornada
El Universal

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