Mexican Journalist Assassinated In Acapulco, Likely Targeted By Drug Gang

By: E&P Staff Media rights groups and family members demanded an investigation Saturday into the death of a Mexican journalist gunned down after leaving his radio show in Acapulco.

Amado Ramirez, a reporter for top Mexican television news network Televisa, was killed Friday night by two gunmen waiting at his a car, police said. He died on the steps of the nearby Hotel California as he tried to escape.

The shooting occurred near the beach resort's central plaza, packed at the time with tourists and hundreds of people attending a Good Friday Mass at the cathedral. Nobody else was injured.

The gunmen escaped, and the motive for the killing was not immediately clear.

``I feel my family has had an enormous loss, and so have all reporters,'' said Juan Dillanes, half brother of Ramirez. ``I ask for justice, I ask that they clear this up because they have killed my brother.''

Police said they had a description from a witness of at least one of the gunmen.

Acapulco has been a plagued by a wave of drug-related violence in recent years that have included many brutal slayings of police officers. The police department has also received calls threatening to kill both police officers and journalists.

The Miami-based Inter American Press Association has reported an alarming number of journalists killed in Mexico on orders from drug gangs, including seven since October. Two others have disappeared and eight have reported receiving death threats.

Paris-based Reporters Without Borders demanded the federal government investigate Ramirez' death. Homicides in Mexico are normally handled by state detectives, but a special federal prosecutor's office for crimes against journalists was created last year after a wave of attacks on reporters and editors.

``Ramirez's death must be taken seriously by the authorities,'' the press group said in a statement Saturday. ``There must be a major effort to establish the circumstances of this journalist's execution-style killing and to identify those responsible. And the case must be handled at the federal level.''

Ramirez had covered Acapulco for Televisa for more than 12 years, reporting on everything from crime to hurricanes.

Televisa official Luis Raul Gonzalez condemned the killing on the network's nightly broadcast and called on police to find the gunmen.

The network also aired Ramirez' last report - interviews with tourists who packed Acapulco's beaches for Easter vacation.

In his radio program Friday, Ramirez criticized leftist Guerrero state Gov. Zeferino Torreblanca for refusing to give his state-of-the-state address in front of state lawmakers. The governor instead gave address his report in written form.



No comments on this item Please log in to comment by clicking here