MIAMI, Florida (June 20, 2016)—The Inter American Press Association (IAPA) today condemned the murder of journalist Elpidio Ramos Zárate in Oaxaca, Mexico, and urged the authorities to promptly investigate so as to determine who was responsible, learn the motive and apply the weight of the law.
Ramos Zárate, a reporter with the newspaper El Sur, Diario Independiente del Istmo, was killed on Sunday (June 19) in the city of Juchitán de Zaragoza, in the southwestern state of Oaxaca, after covering civil disorder and clashes between teachers and police, according to local media.
On Sunday afternoon two men riding a motorcycle shot Ramos Zárate in the head, and two other people who were with him at a used car lot were also shot, one fatally. The reporter that morning had covered and recorded clashes between teachers and police and highway blockades, looting of businesses and the burning of buses in the area.
The chairman of the IAPA's Committee on Freedom of the Press and Information, Claudio Paolillo, declared, "Once again we are facing the violence that does not cease in Mexico, so we ask that it be investigated, that the motives be learned, and those guilty be put on trial and sent to prison."
Paolillo, editor of the Montevideo, Uruguay, weekly Búsqueda, added, "Given the numerous cases of the murder of journalists, greatly worsened by the lack of punishment, what is clear is the high risk and absence of protection that members of the press in this country face every time they go out to cover some news."
The newspaper's managing editor, Ivonne Flores, disclosed that the day before the murder a group of hooded men had threatened and warned Ramos Zárate – and other colleagues – not to cover acts of violence. Flores also denounced the risks that journalists in that part of the country are exposed to.
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.