Mexico - Young radio reporter gunned down in Veracruz state for unclear reasons



    MONTREAL, Feb. 25 /CNW Telbec/ - Reporters Without Borders is dismayed by
radio reporter Luis Daniel Méndez Hernandez's murder on 23 February while he
was attending the carnival in Huayacocotla, in the southeastern state of
Veracruz. The correspondent of "Enlaces Noticias," a news programme broadcast
on several frequencies by the Radiorama Tuxpan news agency, Méndez was shot
four times in the back.
    "There are not yet any grounds for concluding that Méndez was killed in
connection with his work," Reporters Without Borders said. "But in view of the
great dangers to which the Mexican press is exposed, we join Méndez's
colleagues in urging the police and judicial authorities to quickly shed light
on the circumstances and motives for this tragedy and to ensure that
journalists are protected. We also offer his family and friends our
condolences."
    The shooting seems to have been the result of a dispute between young
people but the officials in charge of the investigation say they are still
looking out for any signs of a link between Méndez's murder and his work as a
journalist.
    Méndez was very involved in local politics and was a candidate for the
Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) in the 2007 municipal elections in
Huayacocotla. A link between the murder and his political activities cannot
therefore be ruled out either. The Veracruz state authorities told the
regional daily Cambio that three suspects had been arrested but the
investigation was continuing.
    Aged 24 and the father of a one-year-old child, Méndez worked as a
correspondent in Xalapa (the capital of the state of Veracruz) and in the
State Arbitration Commission press department in the city of Veracruz. He had
gone to Huayacocotla to celebrate the carnival with his family.
    According to the tally kept by the National Human Rights Commission,
Méndez is the 47th journalist to be murdered in Mexico since 2000. This figure
includes both journalists who were clearly killed in connection with their
work and those who were killed for unclear motives.
    He is the second journalist to be killed since the start of the year in
Mexico. Photographer Jean Paul Ibarra of the local daily El Correo was the
victim of a contract-style killing on 13 February in the southern state of
Guerrero (see 16 February release -
http://www.rsf.org/article.php3?id_article=30319).




For further information:

For further information: Katherine Borlongan, secretary general,
Reporters Without Borders, (514) 521-4111, Cell: (514) 258-4188, Fax: (514)
521-7771, rsfcanada@rsf.org

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