03 November 2009
IAPA condemns murder of another journalist in Mexico
The Inter American Press Association condemned the murder of journalist Bladimir Antuna García in Durango, Mexico the 10th this year resulting from the violence that shakes the country, and matter of great concern to the hemisphere organization.
The Inter American Press Association condemned the murder of journalist Bladimir Antuna García in Durango, Mexico the 10th this year resulting from the violence that shakes the country, and matter of great concern to the hemisphere organization. Antuna García, 39, a reporter with the Durango newspaper El Tiempo, was abducted on November 2 in the morning, and his body discovered 12 hours later marked by torture. This is the second attack on journalists from El Tiempo and the third murder of a newsman in northern Mexico in six months, according to inquiries made by the IAPAs Rapid Response Unit in Mexico. IAPA urge Mexicos Congress and administration to pay closer attention to this issue and re-establish mechanisms that are capable of confronting the violence unleashed against members of the press, alluding to the decision by the Chamber of Deputies to eliminate its special committee dedicated to dealing with crimes against journalists and news media, as well as passage of the long-awaited law making crimes against freedom of expression federal offenses. Antuna García covered the public safety and justice beats in the city of Durango and had received death threats over the last year. On April 28 he was attacked but escaped unhurt. While the motive for his murder was not immediately known, that it might be linked to his work as a reporter has not been ruled out. The adjoining northern states of Durango and Coahuila are among the most violent in Mexico. On May 3 Carlos Ortega, El Tiempo correspondent in the township of Santa María del Oro, Durango, was murdered and 23 days later reporter Eliseo Barrón Hernández of the newspaper La Opinión de Milenio in the next-door state of Coahuila was murdered. After that murder Antuna García received another phoned threat warning that he would be next. In a conversation with the RRU the editor of El Tiempo in Durango, Víctor Manuel Garza, said that following the murders and the threats to Antuna García the newspaper put security measures in place. Antuna García was driving the streets of Durango around 9:00 a.m. when a pickup truck cut him off and a group of armed men forced him out of his car and into another. Two hours later the police received an anonymous call about the discovery of a body which was later confirmed to be his. The body showed signs of his having been tortured and then strangled.