21 June 2011
IAPA outraged at murder of journalist and his family in Mexico
Miami (June 21, 2011)The Inter American Press Association (IAPA) expressed indignation over the murder yesterday of journalist Miguel Angel López Velasco, his wife and son at their home in Veracruz. The organization called for concrete action by the authorities to end the violence.
Miami (June 21, 2011)The Inter American Press Association (IAPA) expressed indignation over the murder yesterday of journalist Miguel Angel López Velasco, his wife and son at their home in Veracruz. The organization called for concrete action by the authorities to end the violence. López Velasco, 55, was a reporter and columnist for Notiver, the newspaper with the largest circulation in the southeastern state of Veracruz. According to initial reports an armed group burst into his two-story home in northern Veracruz López Arias neighborhood around 5:30 a.m. and opened fire on him, his wife Agustina Solana Melo and his son Misael López Solana, 21, a Notiver photographer. IAPA President Gonzalo Marroquín, president of the Guatemala City, Guatemala, newspaper Siglo 21, said, We must close ranks before such a loathsome act -- this was not just an act to silence a journalist but also to execute his family. We expect solid action by officials to put an end to the violence that is eroding, mutilating and killing the press. While Notiver on its Web site did not indicate any suspects or a motive for the crime committed just a few blocks from the local police station, it did demand a prompt and transparent investigation to identify those responsible for the triple murder and punish them under the full weight of the law, no matter who they may be. López Velasco wrote a column titled Va de nuez (In a Nutshell) under the pseudonym Milo Vela. In it he dealt with politics, security, justice and organized crime in the state, where the presence of the mafia has grown and its use of violence has increased. He also wrote police blotter reports. Robert Rivard, chairman of the IAPAs Committee on Freedom of the Press and Information and editor of the San Antonio Express-News, Texas, offered his sympathy to the surviving members of López Velascos family and said Its time for the authorities to act forcefully, time to come together and make sure that justice is strictly enforced to stop those who resort to violence and to combat the impunity that has become the norm when journalists are murdered. Also murdered in Mexico so far this year were: Noel López Olguín (Veracruz), kidnapped in March and whose body was found on May 31; Luis Emmanuel Ruiz Cantillo (Coahuila), and Rodolfo Ochoa Moreno and Pablo Ruelas Barrazas (Sonora); the whereabouts of Marco Antonio López (Guerrero) have been unknown since June 7. The IAPA is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to the defense and promotion of freedom of the press and of expression in the Americas. It is made up of more than 1,300 print publications from throughout the Western Hemisphere and is based in Miami, Florida. The IAPA Impunity Project is funded by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and has the mission of combating violence against journalists and lessening the impunity surrounding the majority of such crimes. For more information please go to http://www.sipiapa.org; http://www.impunidad.com