Mon, Apr 09, 2007 - Page 7 News List

Groups, relatives demand justice for slain reporter

AP , ACAPULCO, MEXICO

Press groups and family members demanded justice for an Acapulco correspondent for Mexico's top TV news network who was shot dead after his radio show in what appeared to be a premeditated hit.

Juan Dillanes, half brother of slain Televisa reporter Amado Ramirez, said on Saturday the killing was a loss for both his family and all media workers in Mexico, which some are now calling the most dangerous place for journalists in the Western Hemisphere.

"I feel my family has had an enormous loss and so have all the reporters," Dillanes said. "I ask for justice, I ask that they clear this up because they have killed my brother."

Ramirez was shot late on Friday by two gunmen who were waiting for him at his car, state security official Felipe Flores said. Ramirez died on the steps of the nearby Hotel California.

The gunmen escaped and the motive for the killing was not immediately clear.

Police said they had a description from a witness of at least one of the gunmen.

Paris-based Reporters Without Borders released a statement on Saturday demanding that the federal government immediately take on the case.

"Ramirez's death must be taken seriously by the authorities," the press group said. "There must be a major effort to establish the circumstances of this journalist's execution-style killing and to identify those responsible. And the case must be handled at the federal level."

Ramirez had covered Acapulco for Televisa for more than a dozen years, reporting on everything from crime to hurricanes.

Televisa official Luis Raul Gonzalez condemned the fatal shooting on the network's nightly broadcast and he called on police to find the killers.

The Inter-American Press Association, based in Miami, has reported an alarming number of journalists slain in Mexico on orders from drug gangs, with seven journalists killed since October last year, two disappeared and eight reporting death threats.

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