MIAMI, Florida (May 17, 2016)—The Inter American Press Association (IAPA) today vehemently condemned the murder of journalist Manuel Torres in Mexico, the sixth to be killed so far this year, and urged the federal authorities to put an end to "the terrible culture of violence against journalists" persisting in the country.
Torres, publisher of the online news site "Noticias MT", was murdered on Saturday (May 4) in the town of Poza Rica in Veracruz state. Torres, 45, was heading home when he was intercepted by a man who shot him in the head. According to local media he was understood to have tried to defend himself with a screwdriver found alongside his body. The motive for the murder was not immediately known.
The chairman of the IAPA's Committee on Freedom of the Press and Information, Claudio Paolillo, expressed "indignation" at the murder of another member of the press in Mexico, where he said "it is urgent to put an end to the terrible culture of violence against journalists."
Torres had more than 20 years' experience as a reporter, covering the police beat, the courts and organized crime. He worked for the Veracruz newspaper Noreste and was correspondent of television channel TV Azteca. He also collaborated with the head of the Poza Rica municipal government.
Paolillo, editor of the Montevideo, Uruguay, weekly Búsqueda, referred to what he called "the bad habit of inefficient governments that try to minimize matters of great seriousness and show the world their lack of sensitivity," in a reference to the 18 journalists that have been murdered in Veracruz state since 2010, the date on which the current governor, Javier Duarte de Ochoa, took office, and to the statement issued by the State Attorney General's Office in which Torres was called "collaborator of a Town Councilor," detaching him from his work as a journalist.
Also murdered in Mexico this year were journalists Francisco Pacheco Beltrán (April 25, Guerrero), Moisés Dagdug Lutzow (February 20, Tabasco), Anabel Flores Salazar (February 8, Veracruz), Reinel Martínez Cerqueda (January 22, Oaxaca) and Marcos Hernández Bautista (January 21, Oaxaca).
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. For more information please go to http://www.sipiapa.org.