Mexico - Newspaper reporter miraculously survives shooting attack in Oaxaca



    Montreal, June 14 /CNW Telbec/ - Reporters Without Borders appealed today
to the federal authorities to take charge of the investigation into a shooting
attack on Misaél Sanchez Sarmiento of the regional daily Tiempo in the
southern city of Oaxaca on 12 June, because of the possibility that it was a
reprisal linked to a social and political crisis in which a US cameraman was
shot dead last October.
    "Mexico continues to be the western hemisphere's most danger country for
the press and the mood is still tense in Oaxaca, where light has still not
been shed on the many human rights violations that took place during last
autumn's crisis," the press freedom organisation said.
    "Even if no link has yet been established between this attack and
Sanchez's work as journalist, score-settling cannot be ruled out," Reporters
Without Borders added. "Journalists continue to be very exposed targets in
Oaxaca state, and the prevailing violence there has had a serious impact on
press freedom."
    An unidentified gunman fired six shots at Sanchez as he was walking
towards his car, followed by his wife, at around 8:30 pm. Hit in the face,
neck and leg, he miraculously survived and was rushed to the nearest hospital,
where his condition was reported to be stable. His newspaper said a car with
tinted windows and no licence plate followed the vehicle that took him to the
hospital.
    The newspaper's management told Reporters Without Borders that Sanchez
wrote a report on 29 December 2006 about the murder of Indymedia news agency
cameraman Brad Will on 27 October 2006 during violent clashes between
supporters and opponents of Oaxaca state governor Ulises Ruiz Ortiz.
    Sanchez's story blamed Will's death on the Popular Assembly of the
Peoples of Oaxaca (APPO), an activist alliance opposed to the governor,
although the local authorities had initially been accused of his murder.
Headlined "The APPO killed Brad," the story's publication was followed by
threats against Sanchez. Nonetheless, no link has been established between the
article and the 12 June shooting.
    Tiempo director Wenceslao Rammrez told Reporters Without Borders he had
no idea of the motive for the attack.




For further information:

For further information: Emily Jacquard, Directrice générale, Reporters
Without Borders, (514) 521-4111, Cell: (514) 258-4208, Fax: (514) 521-7771,
rsfcanada@rsf.org

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