Mexican Journalist's Murder Remains Unsolved, Mysterious p.11

By: Robert Buckman THE CIRCUMSTANCES OF the murder of Luis Mario Garc?a on Feb. 12 remain shrouded in mystery and controversy.
Garc?a, known as an aggressive Sonora correspondent and courthouse reporter for the Mexico City evening daily Diario de la Tarde, was shot and killed while getting into an automobile in the capital. A woman he was talking with was wounded in the arm.
The Miami-based Inter American Press Association said Garc?a, who also covered Sonora for the Mexico City magazine Ovaciones, had told colleagues several days earlier that he was being followed by unidentified people after writing several articles on alleged police corruption.
He reportedly had just left the offices of the federal attorney general, who had demanded he reveal the sources for his articles, when he was attacked. Four men, armed with automatic weapons, followed him from the meeting and fired nine shots.
According to the International Freedom of Expression and Reporters Sans Frontieres in Paris, Garc?a had received a death threat before the shooting. He survived an attempt on his life earlier last year, allegedly perpetrated by the Arellano Felix brothers of the Tijuana drug cartel.
Enrique Mart?nez of the daily newspaper El Imparcial in Hermosillo, Sonora, said in an interview that in reporting on Garc?a's death he was told by reporters for the Mexico City newspaper Reforma that the slain journalist "had exercised the profession in a very questionable manner and had a bad reputation." They said Garc?a attempted to extort bribes from officials of the attorney general's office in return for favorable coverage.
"Because of this, we had to handle the story a bit delicately," Mart?nez said.
It was not immediately possible to verify these allegations, but Danilo Arbilla of Uruguay, chairman of IAPA's Press Freedom Committee, called on Mexican authorities to open an immediate investigation into the murder.
IFEX and RSF, meanwhile, called on members to write Mexican President Ernesto Zedillo to urge him to "find, apprehend and punish Garc?a's murderers."
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?(copyright: Editor & Publisher April 4, 1998) [Caption]


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