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Community radio host’s 12-year-old son killed in shooting

August 7, 2014

The son of radio La Calentana Mexiquense’s founder and presenter, Indalecio Benítez Mondragón, was killed on the night of 1 August when masked gunmen fired on Benítez’s car at the entrance to the community radio station, located in his home in Luvianos, a small town in the central state of Mexico.

Reporters Without Borders offers its heartfelt condolences to the Benítez family for this tragic event.

Benítez has just pulled up outside when the gunmen emerged from his home and opened fire. His 12-year-old son, Juan Diego Benítez, was hit three times and died on the spot.

Benítez said he had never received threats in connection with his journalistic work before the shooting but did not rule out the possibility that he was targeted because of his news coverage. He added that he was now very concerned for his family’s safety.

“We urge the National Commission for Human Rights to take all necessary measures to protect Benítez and his family,” said Camille Soulier, the head of the Reporters Without Borders Americas desk.

“The possibility that the shooting was linked to Benítez’s reporting should be taken seriously by those carrying out the investigation for the Mexico state prosecutor’s office.”

La Calentana Mexiquense aims to support and provide a service to the community of Luvianos, a town located near the borders of two states – Michoacán and Guerrero – that are drug-trafficking hubs.

“The attack could have come from either side,” Benítez said, alluding to the police and organized crime. They have clashed constantly in Luvianos since 2009, when Los Zetas, a drug cartel that is on the Reporters Without Borders list of “Predators of Press Freedom” arrived in the town, followed by La Familia de Michoacan and Los Caballeros Templarios.

This was the second fatal act of violence targeting a journalist in less than a week. TV cameraman Nolberto Herrera was found stabbed to death in his home in the north-central state of Zacatecas on 29 July.

Attacks and threats against the families of journalists with the aim of silencing them are common in Mexico and usually go unpunished. Mexico is ranked 152nd out of 180 countries in the 2014 Reporters Without Borders press freedom index.

For more information contact:
Reporters Without Borders
Phone: +33 1 44 83 84 84

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