Renewed probe asked in newsman’s killing

The Mexican weekly newspaper Zeta has asked officials to renew the investigation of the unpunished murder of its co-editor, journalist Héctor Félix Miranda, where the mastermind has still not been identified.

Zeta’s complaint comes at a time when the two killers, Victoriano Medina Moreno and Antonio Vera Palestina, are due to be released from prison after having completed their sentence. At the time they killed Félix Miranda, in 1988, they were security agents at the Aguas Calientes racetrack in Tijuana, where Félix Miranda had reported serious irregularities.

The Inter American Press Association said it supported the request.

Association President Gustavo Mohme, editor of the Lima, Peru, newspaper La República, stressed the solidarity of his organization with Zeta, which he called “one of the media outlets in Mexico that has suffered the most direct attacks and losses of life in recent decades.”

The Félix Miranda case is one of the emblematic investigations which the Inter American Press Association submitted in 1997 to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights. With that body as intermediary, the association and the government of Mexico signed an agreement in 2004 for review of the case file, but several weeks later Zeta’s new co-editor, Francisco Ortiz Franco, who was heading the review, was himself murdered.

The chairman of the Association’s Committee on Freedom of the Press and Information, Claudio Paolillo, editor of the Montevideo, Uruguay, weekly Búsqueda, declared, “In this case there has been no closure, since the mastermind has not been identified, thus the person or persons who gave the order to execute Felix Miranda remain unpunished.”

Zeta is an investigative weekly that focused on the drug gangs and crooked politicians.

For many years Tijuana was under the control of the Arellano Félix drug cartel. And this gang and drug wholesalers like them are the people the newspaper targeted in his reporting, as well as the links between organized crime and the politicians.

Jesús Blancornelas founded Zeta with Félix Miranda in 1980.  Blancornelas was the target of an unsuccessful assassination attempt in 1997. He died in 2006.

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