16 February 1998


Journalist murdered

Incident details

Luis Mario Garcia



(RSF/IFEX) - On 12 February 1998, Luis Mario Garcia, a member of the
editorial staff of "La Tarde", was assassinated. Garcia, the newspaper's
judicial correspondent, had been covering the activities of the country's
Attorney General. As he was leaving the offices of the Attorney General,
four persons armed with automatic weapons began to follow him. Investigators
say that the assailants fired nine shots in Garcia's direction before
fleeing the scene.

According to Miguel Rocha, editor-in-chief of "La Tarde", Garcia had written
several articles focussing on police corruption. Several days earlier,
Garcia, who lived in the state of Sonora (on the U.S. border), had been sent
a death threat. In 1997, he escaped an attempt on his life; the Tijuana drug
cartel, run by the Arellano Felix brothers, was thought to be responsible.
This same cartel was also suspected in the attempted assassination of Jesus
Blancornelas, editor-in-chief of the weekly "Zeta" in Tijuana, in the state
of Baja California.

In 1997, according to RSF, at least three journalists were assassinated in
Mexico, thirty were attacked, and eleven were threatened. Most of them had
reported on issues of corruption, drug trafficking, and power abuses. Today,
Mexico, along with Columbia, is the most dangerous country for journalists.
In this part of the world, ten media workers were murdered last year for
reasons relating to their professional activities (including four in
Colombia, one in Argentina, one in Brazil, and one in Guatemala). In eight
other cases (three assassinations in Guatemala, two in Peru, one in Brazil,
one in Columbia and one in El Salvador), the lack of thorough investigations
has prevented, for the moment, the authorities from determining the exact
motives of the murders.

Recommended Action

Send appeals to authorities:

  • urging them to find, apprehend, and punish Garcia's murderers

    Appeals To

    His Excellency Ernesto Zedillo Ponce de Leon
    President of the Republic of Mexico
    Official Residence
    Colonia San Miguel Chapultepec
    C.P. 11850 Mexico D.F.
    Fax: +525 271 1764 / 515 1794 / 277 2376

    Please copy appeals to the source if possible.

  • Source

    Reporters Without Borders
    47, rue Vivienne
    75002 Paris
    rsf (@) rsf.org
    Fax:+33 1 45 23 11 51
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