Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Two Shoddy Investigations

Carlos Lauría, a senior figure in the Committee to Protect Journalists, says that the cases of Brad Will and Amado Ramírez show that investigations into the murders of journalists in Mexico remain shoddy and incomplete, more likely to muddy the truth than to uncover it.

The murder of Ramírez, an Acapulco TV reporter who was murdered by an armed unit on his way out of work in 2007, was chalked up to a romantic quarrel. Aside from the fact that a lovers' spat is just the sort of cheap tale someone would throw out there to tar the victim and make the case disappear from the public radar screen, and aside from the fact that the armed unit and execution-style killing seem incongruent with a crime of passion, Ramírez's colleagues say that the police never considered the possibility that he was killed for his work. They never examined his laptop or his office, despite widespread belief that the killing was orchestrated by local drug gangs. In the case of Will, the Oaxaca authorities have claimed from almost the very beginning that he was killed by an APPO activist, despite that fact that he was sympathetic to their cause, and despite evidence that contradicts the government's theory.

Lauría's column (I think it runs once a month) is a valuable resource for anyone interested in the ongoing dangers for journalists in Mexico. Good for Poder for giving him such a visible regular space.

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