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Latino Daily News

Sunday January 8, 2012

Journalist Gunned Down in Northern Mexico, Same Area Where 30 Oil Workers Went Missing

Journalist Gunned Down in Northern Mexico, Same Area Where 30 Oil Workers Went Missing

Photo: Mexican Journalist Killd Cadereyta, Mexico

Click Here to Enlarge Photo

Raul Regulo Garza Quirino, a reporter for the La Ultima Palabra newspaper, was shot dead by several gunmen while driving in Cadereyta, a city in the northern Mexican state of Nuevo Leon, police said.

Garza Quirino was killed around 5:00 p.m. Friday after being chased by several armed men, the municipal police department said.

The gunmen caught up with Garza Quirino in downtown Cadereyta, a city located about 37 kilometers (23 miles) west of Monterrey, Nuevo Leon’s capital, and opened fire on him.

Investigators are trying to determine whether the assailants were out to steal the reporter’s new vehicle.

The Nuevo Leon journalists’ association condemned the attack and called on officials to find out who killed the reporter, a spokesman for the group said.

“We demand an exhaustive investigation from the authorities to identify the intellectual and material authors so they can be punished for this cowardly murder and do not go unpunished,” association president Oscar Gonzalez told Efe.

Cadereyta is controlled by a gang that engages in various criminal activities, including stealing gasoline from northern Mexico’s largest oil refinery, which is located in the city.

More than 30 oil workers have disappeared in Cadereyta in recent months and several mass graves were discovered in neighboring areas.

Mexico, where 75 journalists have been murdered and several others have disappeared since 2000, is considered the world’s second most dangerous country for members of the media.

Nine journalists were murdered in Mexico last year, the National Human Rights Commission, or CNDH, said in a statement released on Saturday.

Officials must make an effort to protect journalists from harassment and violence, the CNDH, Mexico’s equivalent of an ombudsman’s office, said.

“Aggression against media outlets and journalists not only affects the well-being and lives of those who experience it, but it also harms society since it violates the right to information,” the CNDH said.

Nuevo Leon and neighboring states have been plagued by a wave of drug-related violence since March 2010, when three rival cartels reportedly went to war with Los Zetas, considered Mexico’s most violent criminal organization.

Journalists have increasingly been targeted in recent years by drug traffickers and other organized crime groups, especially in northern Mexico.

Media members must also contend with long-running abuse at the hands of federal, state and local officials.