Juarez Crime Reporter Murdered, Attacks against Press Intensify
El Diario de Juarez journalist Armando Rodriguez Carreon was well-known for countless stories about gangland killings in his hometown of Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua. For years, the 40-year-old police beat reporter tirelessly published pieces about the latest executions in a violence-torn city.
Rodriguez launched his journalistic career as a technician and photographer for the Ciudad Juarez Channel 44 television station before moving into print during the early 1990s. His newspaper career closely paralleled the violent rise of the Juarez drug cartel and the women’s slayings that became known worldwide as femicides. Popularly known as “El Choco,” Rodriguez was among the first reporters to write about the discoveries of raped and slain women on the outskirts of Ciudad Juarez.
Rodriguez’s stories, which relied a lot on police sources and often did not implicate any particular suspects, were characterized by an almost matter-of-fact quality that kept to the narrative even as violence kept escalating. On Thursday morning, November 13, Rodriguez became a victim himself when he was shot outside his home by a gunman who reportedly fled in a waiting car. . . .
With the Rodriguez killing, at least 6 journalists have been murdered in Mexico this year so far. Other victims include Oaxaca radio announcers Teresa Bautista Merino and Felicitas Martinez Sanchez, Tabasco radio man Alejandro Zenon Fonseca Estrada, Michoacan newspaper director Miguel Villagomez Valle, and Chihuahua writer David Garcia Monroy.
An international observer mission spearheaded by the Committee to Protect Journalists, Article 19, Open Society Institute and other press advocacy organizations traveled to Mexico this year to investigate conditions confronting journalists. Despite legal reforms, the mission concluded that Mexican journalists are in dire circumstances due to violence, impunity and governmental indifference.
Most of the 2008 journalist murders, as well as earlier cases like the 2006 murder of US journalist Brad Will in Oaxaca, remain unsolved and unpunished. . . .