Reporter Armando Saldaña Morales has been murdered in Veracruz, Mexico. The Inter American Press Association expressed outrage and urged the authorities to conduct a thorough investigation of the crime. At the same time the organization voiced its concern with the climate of impunity in the country, given the violence there.
Saldaña, 53, hosted a news program broadcast by radio station La Ke Buena 100.9 FM in Tierra Blanca and lived in the nearby town of Tezonapa, both in Veracruz State. His body, with signs of having been beaten and with four bullet wounds, was found in the neighboring state of Oaxaca.
Gustavo Mohme, editor of the Lima, Peru, newspaper La República, declared, “We are seeing another murder which based in our experience could run the risk of going unpunished and without justice being done, like so many other cases in Mexico, where violence and inaction by authorities are what set the rules of the game.” Mohme is president of the Inter American Press Association.
Saldaña had been kidnapped Saturday along with others. His body was found two days later by a group of peasants on the bank of a stream in the Oaxaca state town of Acatlán de Pérez Figueroa, where organized crime has maintained a violent presence in recent years.
Claudio Paolillo, said, “We urge the Mexican government to comply with its obligation to investigate urgently and in-depth, and severely punish the perpetrators and masterminds.” He is chairman of the association’s Committee on Freedom of the Press and Information,
Paolillo, editor of the Montevideo, Uruguay, weekly Búsqueda, added, “It is a matter of urgency to put an end to the culture of violence that is harming the very basis of human rights and democracy.”
According to information gathered by the association’s Rapid Response Unit in Mexico, Saldaña had not received any threat and was a journalist known in the region for his collaborations with various media, among them El Mundo and El Sol of Córdoba, La Crónica of Tierra Blanca, Radio Max and recently the La Ke Buena station.
In his news items and commentary Saldaña often referred to organized crime, therefore the authorities have not ruled out any theory, including the possibility that his murder is linked to his work as a journalist.