OrtÝz Franco of the weekly Zeta was killed on 22 June 2004 as he was preparing to return home at midday. A masked and armed man got out of a black jeep and stood beside the journalist’s car just after he got into it. The gunman fired four times at point blank range killing him instantly. He suffered gunshot wounds to the head, body and left shoulder.
The gunman and an accomplice, who was also masked, drove away in their vehicle that was found by police the same evening a few streets from the murder scene. OrtÝz Franco’s two children aged eight and 10, who were in the car with him at the time, were uninjured.
A founding member of Zeta in 1980, OrtÝz Franco, 48, was the newspaper’s chief editorial writer and was known for his articles and reports on corruption and drugs.
The murder was the third such attack against Zeta. Journalist and co-founder of the paper Hector Felix Miranda was murdered on 20 April 1988 and more recently, on 27 November 1997, the editor Blancornelas, was injured in a murder attempt in which his bodyguard was killed.