Two unidentified gunmen broke into the café around 9:30 p.m. and shot the journalists at close range, according to local news reports. Rodríguez was shot four times, and Hernández three times, the Mexico City-based daily Milenio reported. Both died at the scene. The couple’s 18-year-old son was at the store during the attack but was uninjured, according to the news agency EFE.
Rodríguez, 49, was local stringer for the newspaper El Sol de Acapulco and representative for the national Press Reporters Union. A few hours before the attack, Rodríguez covered a demonstration marking the 15th anniversary of a confrontation between peasants and state police known as the Massacre of Aguas Blancas, according to Salomón Cruz Gallardo, one of several union representatives who are monitoring the investigation. (The massacre happened in 1995, when police ambushed a march of peasants in Coyuca de Benítez, murdering 17 of them, according to the Mexico City-based newspaper La Jornada.)
Local reporters said Rodríguez seldom covered sensitive stories involving local police, politicians, or drug traffickers. Hernández, 36, was the editor for a small weekly local publication called Nueva Línea, the reporters said. She occasionally covered local politics and social issues, they added.
A spokesperson at the state prosecutor’s office told CPJ that the two were killed in a suspected robbery. But local journalists were skeptical, arguing that a cybercafé in a small town like Coyuca de Benítez is not likely to be robbed since it usually does not have more than 600 Mexican pesos (US$48) in the register, according to José Antonio Sánchez, a local journalist and officer at the National Federation of Journalists and Editors.
“Mexican authorities must conduct an exhaustive
investigation and bring those responsible to justice,” said Carlos Lauría,
CPJ’s senior program coordinator for the
Guerrero state has been wracked by open warfare between drug
gangs. Two other journalists have been killed in the state this year. On
January 29, Jorge Ochoa Martínez, publisher of the weekly El Oportuno and
the twice-weekly El Sol de la Costa, was shot
to death after leaving a party for a local politician. Evaristo
Pacheco Solís, a reporter with the weekly Visión Informativa, was shot to
death on March 12 in the city of