Mexico - Journalist gunned down in Chihuahua state amid wave of violent crime



    MONTREAL, June 26 /CNW Telbec/ - Reporters Without Borders is shocked by
a wave of violence in the northern state of Chihuahua that has cost the life
of Candelario Pérez Pérez, a 32-year-old journalist who worked as an editor on
his father's crime magazine, Sucesos. Pérez was gunned down in the border town
of Ciudad Juarez on 23 June. The motive is not yet known.
    "So far there is no evidence of a link to his journalistic work, but
Pérez's murder comes amid a wave of attacks and threats against journalists in
recent months in regions adjoining the US border, especially Chihuahua state,"
the press freedom organisation said. "The federal government's war on the drug
cartels and the cartels' cruel reprisals are fuelling concern about the safety
of journalists and the future of the entire profession."
    Reporters Without Borders added: "We are aware that it will take time to
contain organised crime, whose ascendancy in Mexico is considerable. The fight
against impunity needs real cooperation between the federal authorities and
state governments."
    Pérez was on his way to visit relatives in a Chevrolet Silverado with
Texas licence plates when he was shot and killed at about 7:30 p.m. by men
armed with AK-47 assault rifles in a dark-coloured pickup. Investigators found
about 15 impacts from 9 mm bullets.
    The victim's father, Sucesos publisher Candelario Pérez Rodriguez, told
journalists that his son got into an argument in a bar shortly before the
shooting and that another car followed him when he left. He also said his son
sold used cars as well as working as a journalist.
    Sucesos is a local crime magazine that Pérez Rodriguez founded 30 years
ago. It is published irregularly and has not appeared for the past two months
because Pérez Rodriguez has been in poor health. His son had worked for it for
15 years as a reporter and editor.
    Chihuahua state is rife with contraband and drug trafficking and is one
of the most dangerous regions in Mexico, with more than 500 violent deaths
since the start of the year.




For further information:

For further information: Katherine Borlongan, Executive Director,
Reporters Without Borders Canada, (514) 521-4111, rsfcanada@rsf.org

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