Afrique Asie Europe Moyen-Orient Internet Nations unies
 
Mexico8 February 2008

Father and son journalists gunned down outside town hall, probably by mistake

Reporters Without Borders is outraged by the fatal shootings of Bonifacio Cruz Santiago, the publisher of the weekly El Real, and his son, Alfonso Cruz Cruz, its editor, yesterday outside the town hall of Chimalhuacán, in the central state of Mexico. According to local reports, the gunmen may have mistaken Bonifacio Cruz for a municipal legal advisor with whom the two journalists had an appointment.

“This double killing comes just 48 hours after the murder of a journalist in the northeast of the country,” the press freedom organisation said. “So far there is no evidence that their deaths were linked to their work as journalists, but these shootings highlight the climate of violence in which the press must operate in Mexico, the most hemisphere’s most dangerous country for the media.”

Reporters Without Borders added: “We offer our condolences to the relatives and colleagues of Bonifacio and Alfonso Cruz and we hope that the investigators quickly establish whether they were killed by mistake, as some of the local media suspect, or whether they were deliberately targeted.”

Yesterday morning, Bonifacio and Alfonso Cruz went to the office of Raymundo Olivares Díaz, the Chimalhuacán town hall’s legal advisor and former head of an association of small landowners. When they found that Olivares was not there, they went outside the town hall to wait, at which point two men in their 30s arrived and opened fire on them. The son was killed on the spot. The father died while being rushed to hospital. Two municipal employees were wounded in the shooting.

The local media suspect that the gunmen mistook Bonifacio Cruz for Olivares, who recently received death threats in connection with a land dispute between peasants. But, when contacted by Reporters Without Borders, Chimalhuacán town hall spokesman Miguel Ángel González advised against jumping to conclusions. “We are not yet able to establish the motives for the murder,” he said. The prosecutor’s office of the state of Mexico has taken charge of the case.

Launched 20 years ago, El Real’s news content consists above all of information put out by the state government and the town halls in the eastern part of the state. It does not do investigative reporting into any sensitive subjects.



In this country
27 May - Mexico
Crime reporter abducted and killed in Durango state
5 May - Mexico
Journalist at odds with local officials gunned down in Durango state
6 March - Mexico
Suspect arrested in photographer’s murder but motive vague
25 February - Mexico
Young radio reporter gunned down in Veracruz state for unclear reasons
22 January - Mexico
Self-censorship, exile or certain death : the choice faced by journalists in Ciudad Juárez

in the annual report
Mexico - Annual Report 2008
Mexico - Annual report 2007
Mexico - Annual report 2006


reports
14 March 2008 - Cuba
No surrender by independent journalists, five years on from “black spring”
5 June 2007 - Venezuela
Closure of Radio Caracas Televisión consolidates media hegemony
22 May 2007 - Colombia
Paramilitary "black eagles" poised to swoop down on press
archives

Americas press releases
3 June - United States
President Obama urged to raise freedom of expression in his Cairo speech
29 May - Venezuela
Open letter to President Hugo Chavez to protest about official hounding of Globovisión
20 May - Cuba
Anyone can browse the Internet... unless they are Cuban
15 May - Cuba
Journalist gets three-year jail sentence
15 May - Colombia
Former intelligence officials leak list of news media and journalists whose phones were tapped

Americas archives
2009 archives
2008 archives
2007 archives
2006 archives
2005 archives
2004 archives
2003 archives
2002 archives
2001 archives
2000 archives

Sign the petitions
Cuba
Miguel Galván Gutiérrez
Cuba
Fabio Prieto Llorente
United States
Chauncey Bailey
A petition to Raúl Castro