Juarez police reporter gunned down
Armando Rodriguez, 40, was a police reporter in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, for 10 years. This morning he got into his car to take his older daughter, Ximena, to school, when he was struck by bullets, apparently fired by a gunman who was waiting for him. The veteran reporter, known affectionately as “El Choco,” worked for El Diario. His wife, also a journalist, and his son and daughter were inside the house at the time of the attack.
Rodriguez came to the border area in 1986. He graduated from the Autonomous University of Chihuahua in the late 80s, then worked as a technician and cameraman for a TV station. Years later he was hired by Channel 56 where he met Blanca Alicia Martinez. The two were married in 1994. In January 1993, he was editor of the newspaper Norte, and in June of that year began work as a journalist for El Diario. He was also an avid cyclist.
No motive has been given for the killing, although many suspect it is the work of a drug cartel assassin. Authorities condemned the murder, saying their hands have been tied by the onslaught of gangs of organized crime that has virtually taken over the streets.
El Diario reported that “as a reaction to the execution of Armando Rodriguez, representatives of various media asked authorities to explain how such a devious crime could have occurred.”
Although the figures vary, one estimate is that 24 journalists have been killed in Mexico since 2000. Others put the number in the dozens. An appalling 90 percent of the crimes have not been solved. Rodriguez is the fifth Mexican journalist to be killed this year. Many journalists in Mexico, not surprisingly, no longer have their names attached to crime stories they write.
The NY-based Committee to Protect Journalists called on the country to do more to protect the media. "Mexico needs to break the cycle of impunity in crimes against journalists," said Carlos Lauria, the committee's spokesman.
Journalists in the border city, across from El Paso, Texas, called on authorities to better protect journalists and city residents alike in wake of an unprecedented 1,500 killings associated with the cartel turf war this year, according to the Society of Journalists and Communicators of Ciudad Juárez.
Tags: Border Violence , Juarez Violence , Journalist Killings , Mexico Violence , Armando Rodriguez
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