Mexico - Father and son journalists gunned down outside town hall, probably by mistake



    MONTREAL, Feb. 8 /CNW Telbec/ - Reporters Without Borders is outraged by
the fatal shootings of Bonifacio Cruz Santiago, the publisher of the weekly El
Real, and his son, Alfonso Cruz Cruz, its editor, yesterday outside the town
hall of Chimalhuacan, in the central state of Mexico. According to local
reports, the gunmen may have mistaken Bonifacio Cruz for a municipal legal
advisor with whom the two journalists had an appointment.
    "This double killing comes just 48 hours after the murder of a journalist
in the northeast of the country," the press freedom organisation said. "So far
there is no evidence that their deaths were linked to their work as
journalists, but these shootings highlight the climate of violence in which
the press must operate in Mexico, the most hemisphere's most dangerous country
for the media."
    Reporters Without Borders added: "We offer our condolences to the
relatives and colleagues of Bonifacio and Alfonso Cruz and we hope that the
investigators quickly establish whether they were killed by mistake, as some
of the local media suspect, or whether they were deliberately targeted."
    Yesterday morning, Bonifacio and Alfonso Cruz went to the office of
Raymundo Olivares Diaz, the Chimalhuacan town hall's legal advisor and former
head of an association of small landowners. When they found that Olivares was
not there, they went outside the town hall to wait, at which point two men in
their 30s arrived and opened fire on them. The son was killed on the spot. The
father died while being rushed to hospital. Two municipal employees were
wounded in the shooting.
    The local media suspect that the gunmen mistook Bonifacio Cruz for
Olivares, who recently received death threats in connection with a land
dispute between peasants. But, when contacted by Reporters Without Borders,
Chimalhuacan town hall spokesman Miguel angel Gonzalez advised against jumping
to conclusions. "We are not yet able to establish the motives for the murder,"
he said. The prosecutor's office of the state of Mexico has taken charge of
the case.
    Launched 20 years ago, El Real's news content consists above all of
information put out by the state government and the town halls in the eastern
part of the state. It does not do investigative reporting into any sensitive
subjects.




For further information:

For further information: Katherine Borlongan, secretary general,
Reporters Without Borders, (514) 521-4111, Cell: (514) 258-4208, Fax: (514)
521-7771, rsfcanada@rsf.org

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