Crime reporter shot to death in Ciudad Juarez
Veteran Mexican crime reporter Armando RodrÃguez was shot to death yesterday morning while in his car in the border city of Ciudad JuÃ¡rez.
The Committee to Protect Journalists and Reporters Without Borders have both condemned the killing.
The CPJ reports:
An unidentified assailant shot RodrÃguez, 40, a reporter for the local daily “El Diario”, at least eight times with a 9mm weapon, according to Mexican news reports and CPJ interviews. RodrÃguez was sitting in a company-owned Nissan sedan parked inside his garage at about 8 a.m. when he was shot, local authorities told CPJ. His young daughter, Ximena, who was in the car at the time of the attack, was uninjured. According to Jaime Torres Valadez, the local mayor’s spokesman, the reporter was pronounced dead at the scene.
“We mourn the death of Armando RodrÃguez and offer our deepest condolences to friends and family,” said Carlos LaurÃa, CPJ’s senior program coordinator for the Americas. “The unprecedented wave of violence against the Mexican press must be halted immediately. We urge state and federal authorities to promptly investigate RodrÃguez’s slaying and bring those responsible to justice. Mexico needs to break the cycle of impunity in crimes against journalists.”
The motive is unknown except that Rodriguez covered the crime beat for his newspaper, El Diario de JuÃ¡rez, for more than a decade.
The newspaper is staying silent about the murder thus far, but this is what my colleagues in JuÃ¡rez and some law enforcement sources in Texas report this morning:
Rodriguez had actually fled recently to El Paso recently; I donâ€™t know if he used his cross-border visa or had sought political asylum. But believing he was safe, he returned to JuÃ¡rez and resumed work at the newspaper. A threat came in over the past few weeks, Iâ€™m unclear on the date still, and the newspaper sought police protection for him but none was forthcoming.
Rodriguez is the second news reporter at El Diario to flee Mexico for the United States. A second, whom I will not name for security reasons, is currently living in the United States under asylum.
Five journalists have now been murdered in Mexico this year and one has gone missing, says Carlos Lauria with the The New York-based, Committee to Protect Journalists.