Mexican News Photographer Shot Dead in Juárez
September 17, 2010 By Staff
Today in Latin America
Top Story — A Mexican news photographer was shot dead Thursday in the violent border city of Ciudad Juárez.
Luis Carlos Santiago,a photographer with the daily El Diario, was killed around two in the afternoon after gunmen opened fire on him and a coworker, Carlos Sánchez, in a parking lot while they were heading to lunch.
“We are shocked by this brutal attack against our colleagues,” said Carlos Lauría, the senior program coordinator for the Americas of the Committee to Protect Journalists. “In vast parts of Mexico, the media is under siege from criminal organizations. The Mexican federal government must immediately intervene in this crisis of national dimension. We urge President Felipe Calderón to make the protection of free expression a priority of his national agenda.”
Pedro Torres, El Diario’s director, said he did not know why these two journalists were targeted by the gunmen. Santiago had only recently started working for the paper and Sánchez is only an intern.
Mexican officials said that the gunmen used 9mm handguns, but were unsure if the shooting was related to the drug trade.
Santiago is the ninth Mexican journalist to be killed this year, as cartels have begun to put pressure on news agencies to avoid unflattering stories about rival drug cartels.
Press freedom groups allege that Mexico does not do enough investigating violence against journalists.
A recent CPJ report said that in Mexico there are “systemic failures that if left unaddressed will further erode freedom of expression and the rule of law. Vital national and international interests are at stake.”
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Headlines from the Western Hemisphere
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- Mexican security forces say they have killed 19 people in a seven-hour gun battle in the country’s north-east.
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- As Haiti gears up for its first-ever internationally televised presidential debate Saturday, confidence in the government’s ability to hold a credible poll is being undermined by allegations that President René Préval is attempting to sway the election.
- A former Guatemalan soldier who prosecutors say acknowledged taking part in a 1982 massacre was sentenced Thursday to 10 years in U.S. prison for lying on citizenship forms about his military service and role in the killings.
- Guatemalan police on Thursday were searching for a drug trafficker who initiated a shootout with police at a shopping mall the day before.
- Honduran authorities must fully investigate an attempted shooting on Tuesday of journalist Luis Galdámez Álvarez, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. Unidentified gunmen in the capital, Tegucigalpa, shot at Galdámez outside his home, he told CPJ. Galdámez was uninjured.
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Image: Charlie Llewellin @ Flickr.