Senior journalist gunned down in Mexico

November 14th, 2008 - 2:51 pm ICT by IANS  

Mexico City, Nov 14 (DPA) A journalist reporting on organized crime was shot and killed in a town on Mexico’s border with the US, adding to a climate of fear as many media outlets refuse to cover drug-related violence.Armando Rodriguez was shot and killed Thursday by unidentified gunmen as he dropped his daughter off at school in the northern city of Ciudad Juarez, the El Diario newspaper said on its website.

Rodriguez had worked more than 14 years for the paper in an increasingly fearful environment as gangland violence increases, making Mexico one of the world’s most dangerous countries for journalists.

According to the Committee to Protect Journalists, 24 journalists, including Rodriguez, have been killed since 2000 and seven have disappeared since 2005. Most of them have been crime reporters, and most of the cases have not been solved.

In 2008, more than 4,500 people were killed in Mexico in suspected drug violence, 1,300 of them in the northern province of Chihuahua, where Ciudad Juarez is located.

President Felipe Calderon is cracking down on drug cartels, which are retaliating with widespread violence. Corruption is widespread, often reaching high into government, police and judicial offices.

“We urge state and federal authorities to promptly investigate Rodriguez’s slaying and bring those responsible to justice,” said Carlos Lauria with the Committee to Protect Journalists.

“Mexico needs to break the cycle of impunity in crimes against journalists,” Lauria added.

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