In a letter to Interior Minister Santiago Creel Miranda, RSF expressed its great concern over the 1 February 2002 assassination of Julio Samuel Morales Ferrón, a journalist from the daily "El Sol de Medio Día" (published in Mexico). "We are calling for an in-depth investigation, so that light is shed on the motive for this crime and the assassins are identified," stated RSF Secretary-General Robert Ménard. "After the 18 January 2002 assassination of Félix Alonso Fernández García, Julio Samuel Morales Ferrón is the second Mexican journalist to have been killed in the last two weeks," Ménard lamented. RSF also asked the minister for measures aimed at protecting journalists.
According to information collected by RSF, Morales Ferrón was assassinated on 1 February in the offices of the Mexican Radio and Television Association (Asociación Mexicana de Radio y Televisión), of which he was president. The 79-year-old journalist was a columnist for "El Sol de Medio Día" and contributed to a number of other media outlets. Morales Ferrón, whose articles appeared under the byline Severo Mirón (Tough Onlooker), had his throat slit. Investigators have found signs of a struggle at the scene of the crime. Mexico City Prosecutor Bernardo Bátiz has dismissed hypotheses that this was a robbery or a politically motivated crime. The journalist mainly wrote on arts and politics. According to Humberto Hernández, "El Sol de Medio Día" editor, at the time of his death, Morales Ferrón was not carrying out an investigation and his criticisms were not polemic. "We do not know if this was a reprisal for something he wrote. We cannot explain who could have done something like this," stated Martha, one of the journalist’s daughters.
RSF recalls that Fernández García, editor of the weekly "Nueva Opción", distributed in Tamaulipas State (north-eastern Mexico), was shot to death on 18 January, in the city of Miguel Alemán. Shortly before his death, the journalist had condemned the alleged relationship between the city’s former mayor and drug traffickers.