Mexico - Radio host who campaigned against organised crime gunned down in Tabasco



    MONTREAL, Sept. 25 /CNW Telbec/ - Reporters Without Borders voices its
support for EXA FM, a local radio station based in Villahermosa (the capital
of the southeastern state of Tabasco), following the fatal shooting of one of
its programme hosts, Alejandro Xensn Fonseca Estrada, on 23 September. The
organisation is outraged that neither federal nor state investigators had
contacted the station nearly 24 hours after the murder.
    "The lack of any immediate reaction from the police and judicial
authorities is all the more incomprehensible as the Mexican congress is
currently debating a bill initiated by President Felipe Caldersn that would
make it a federal crime to attack the media," Reporters Without Borders said.
    "Even assuming Fonseca was killed above all because of his campaigning
against organised crime rather than his journalism, there should have been an
immediate demonstration of the political will to defend press freedom and
restore the rule of law," the organisation added. "Without waiting for the
bill's final approval, the federal authorities should demonstrate their
support for EXA FM, journalists and the Fonseca family by solving this case."
    Aged 33, Fonseca hosted a morning show on EXA FM called "El Padrino" (The
Godfather) and he was widely known by the nickname of "Padrino Fonseca." He
was also an activist who campaigned against organised crime and headed an NGO.
On the evening of his murder, he was on the streets with a loudspeaker and,
together with several colleagues, was putting up stickers criticising
abductions.
    He was at the intersection of two avenues at about 9 p.m. when a pickup
with a Texan licence plate pulled up alongside him. The passengers in the
cabin asked him what he was doing with his stickers. Then they opened fire and
then drove off. Hit in the chest, Fonseca died after being rushed to the
city's Los Angeles hospital.
    The staff of EXA FM told Reporters Without Borders that, by 6 p.m.
yesterday, they still had not been contacted by any officials. They also said
they were unaware of any prior threats against Fonseca, who started his
programme in 2001 on Radio Tabasco before moving with it to EXA FM. He also
participated in a local TV programme. His colleagues said "El Padrino," which
was about social issues and had many listeners, might not survive his death as
he was its "soul."




For further information:

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

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