Línea Directa

10 results arranged by date

Alerts   |   Mexico

Missing reporter found dead in Mexico

(Línea Directa Radio)

New York, January 19, 2010—The Committee to Protect Journalists called on Mexican authorities today to thoroughly investigate the killing of José Luis Romero, a Mexican crime reporter who had been abducted on December 30. Romero, at left, was found dead on Saturday near the city of Los Mochis, in the state of Sinaloa, according to local news reports.

January 19, 2010 2:22 PM ET


Mexico, Unconfirmed

José Luis Romero

Línea Directa

Masked men kidnapped Romero as he entered a restaurant in Los Mochis about 6 p.m. on December 30, 2009, bundling the reporter into a waiting SUV, according to news reports and CPJ interviews. Eliu Lorenzo Patiño, a former military officer who was accompanying Romero, was also abducted and remained missing.

The detective assigned to the abductions was himself murdered about six hours after the kidnappings were reported, Mexican press reports said. The state attorney general told reporters that the two cases might be connected, according to press reports.

On January 16, 2010, Romero's body was found along a rural road near Los Mochis, said Rolando Bon López, Sinaloa's assistant state prosecutor. The body had signs of torture; Romero had been shot and his hands had been broken, Bon López said.

Romero had covered the crime beat for the statewide radio broadcaster Línea Directa for 10 years, News Director Luis Alberto Díaz told CPJ. He said he believed Romero was the victim of one of two warring drug cartels. Díaz said murdering a well-known broadcaster fit into the cartels' intentions to intimidate the public. "They want to seed psychosis among the audience; they want to terrorize; they want to keep people's mouths shut," Díaz said. 

January 16, 2010 8:52 AM ET


Alerts   |   Mexico

Mexican crime reporter, abducted in Sinaloa, still missing

New York, January 4, 2010---The Committee to Protect Journalists calls on state and federal authorities to step up their investigation into the abduction of a veteran police reporter who was seized by masked men in Sinaloa state on Wednesday. The reporter, José Luis Romero, remained missing today.

Alerts   |   Mexico

Columnist brutally beaten; CPJ investigates possible link to work

New York, September 1, 2004—A Mexican columnist who wrote about government corruption and crime was beaten to death yesterday in the city of Matamoros, near the United States border. The Committee to Protect Journalists is investigating whether the murder was tied to his reporting.

Francisco Arratia Saldierna, 55, wrote a column called "Portavoz" (Spokesman) that appeared in four newspapers throughout the state of Tamaulipas—El Imparcial and El Regional, in Matamoros, and Mercurio and El Cinco, in Ciudad Victoria, the state capital. It also appeared in the Internet publication "En Línea Directa."
September 1, 2004 12:00 PM ET



Francisco Arratia Saldierna

Arratia, 55, a columnist with four regional newspapers throughout the state of Tamaulipas, died of a heart attack after being brutally beaten in the city of Matamoros, near the U.S. border.

Arratia wrote a column called "Portavoz" (Spokesman) that appeared in El Imparcial and El Regional in Matamoros, and Mercurio and El Cinco in Ciudad Victoria, the state capital. It also appeared in the Internet publication "En Línea Directa." In his column, Arratia wrote frequently about political corruption, organized crime, and education. He was also a high school teacher and ran a used car business in this border region near Texas.

According to Mexican news reports, Arratia had an argument with a group of individuals who came to his business in a red vehicle around 1:30 p.m. On his way home, a half hour later, Arratia was intercepted and kidnapped by the group, the Mexico City-based daily El Universal reported.

Around 3 p.m. Matamoros police received an anonymous call saying a severely beaten man was outside the offices of the Red Cross. According to local reports, Arratia had been tortured before being dumped from a moving vehicle. The columnist had his fingers broken, his skull fractured, his palms burned, and his chest injured. Arratia was taken to a nearby hospital and died moments later of a heart attack.

On September 24, Tamaulipas police arrested Raúl Castelán Cruz in Matamoros. At the time of his arrest, police said, Castelán was armed with an AR-15 automatic weapon with a telescopic sight, a 9mm pistol, handcuffs, more than 90 cartridges, and three cellular phones, according to state prosecutors. Investigators said that Castelán was caught through the use of Arratia's cellular phone.

In his statement to state authorities, Castelán confessed to participating in the killing of Arratia, according to Roberto Maldonado Siller, the regional delegate of the Tamaulipas state attorney's office. Castelán also said the murder was motivated by Arratia's journalistic work, according to Maldonado Siller.

On September 30, federal authorities office began investigating other aspects of the crime, including drug trafficking and weapons possession. A federal court in the state of Mexico formally charged Castelán with weapons possession on October 12. The suspect, who is being held at Mexico's top-security La Palma prison west of Mexico City, was formally accused of Arratia's murder on December 27. An accomplice was at large.

August 31, 2004 12:00 AM ET


Attacks on the Press   |   Guatemala

Attacks on the Press 2001: Guatemala

Amid harassment and violence against journalists, human rights activists, and judges involved in high-profile cases, Guatemala's political stability deteriorated considerably in 2001, and press freedom along with it. The administration of President Alfonso Portillo Cabrera, a member of the right-wing Guatemalan Republican Front (FRG), showed little tolerance for criticism of any kind.

Alerts   |   China, Colombia, Philippines

37 journalists killed for their work in 2001

New York, January 3, 2002--A total of 37 journalists were killed worldwide as a direct result of their work in 2001, a sharp increase from 2000 when 24 were killed, according to CPJ research. At least 25 were murdered, almost all with impunity.

The dramatic rise is mainly due to the war in Afghanistan, where eight journalists were killed in the line of duty covering the US-led military campaign and a ninth journalist died of wounds sustained there two years ago. This was the highest death toll recorded for a single country since 1999, when 10 journalists were killed in Sierra Leone.

Alerts   |   China, Colombia

37 periodistas asesinados por su trabajo en el 2001

Nueva York, 3 de enero de 2002
-- Un total de 37 periodistas fueron asesinados en todo el mundo como resultado directo de su labor en el 2001, un brusco incremento en relación con el año 2000, cuando 24 fueron asesinados, según las investigaciones del Comité para la Protección de los Periodistas (CPJ, por sus siglas en inglés). Por lo menos 25 de ellos fueron asesinados, casi todos con impunidad.

El dramático aumento se debe principalmente a la guerra en Afganistán, donde ocho periodistas murieron cumpliendo su deber al cubrir la campaña militar encabezada por los Estados Unidos, y un noveno periodista murió de heridas que recibió en ese país hace dos años. Este es el mayor saldo de víctimas que se haya registrado en un solo país desde 1999, cuando 10 periodistas fueron asesinados en Sierra Leona.

Alerts   |   Guatemala

Controversial radio journalist killed

New York, September 18, 2001—Guatemalan radio journalist Jorge Mynor Alegría Armendáriz was murdered at around 10 p.m. on the evening of September 5, CPJ has confirmed.

Alegría was shot at least five times outside his home in Puerto Barrios, a port city located on the Caribbean coast in Izabal Department. His personal effects were untouched, making robbery an unlikely motive.

Alegría hosted an afternoon call-in show called "Línea Directa" on the local station Radio Amatique. Callers often discussed corruption and official misconduct. Alegría also worked as a part-time correspondent for the national radio network Emisoras Unidas.
September 18, 2001 12:00 PM ET



Jorge Mynor Alegría Armendáriz

Alegría, host of a call-in show "Línea Directa," was shot at least five times outside his home in Puerto Barrios, a port city located on the Caribbean coast in Izabal Department.

Alegría, who also worked as a part-time correspondent for the national radio network Emisoras Unidas, had reportedly been threatened on three different occasions after broadcasting stories about corruption. In addition, one of his colleagues told the press that local officials had tried to bribe Alegría to keep him quiet about their activities.

Police detained two suspects in connection with Alegría's murder. One suspect had a 9 mm handgun whose bullets apparently matched those found at the crime scene. Preliminary investigations by the Puerto Barrios prosecutor's office revealed that the handgun had recently fired six shots.

CPJ published a news alert about the murder on September 18.

On September 20, the Ombudsman's Office for Human Rights (PDH) released the results of its investigations. The report concluded that Alegría's murder was politically motivated and was probably masterminded by local officials in retaliation for the journalist's coverage of corruption in Puerto Barrios. The PDH added that the two suspects in police custody were scapegoats. A report with the PDH's findings was sent to the newly created Prosecutor's Office for Crimes against Journalists.

In early October, the two suspects were released after ballistics test proved that the confiscated handgun was not the murder weapon.

At year's end, the Puerto Barrios prosecutor's office and police were investigating Alegría's murder as either a crime of passion, a politically motivated crime, or a common crime. However, they have not offered any evidence to support their theories. According to the news agency CERIGUA, a local prosecutor declared that a political motivation could neither be ruled out nor confirmed.
September 5, 2001 12:05 AM ET


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