Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Ramirez Lopez Murdered. Cartel Suspected.

(RSF/IFEX) - The body of radio presenter Fabián Ramírez López, who worked for the La Magia 97.1 regional radio station, was found close to Mazatlán, Sinaloa, northwestern Mexico, 48 hours after he went missing after leaving his home to go to work.

The victim was found with his throat cut after an anonymous call was made to the radio station on the evening of 11 October 2009. He also had injuries to his arms and the letters YTTS had been carved into his back with a sharp instrument, the local press reported. It was also reported that his mobile phone and personal documents were found on the body, appearing to rule out theft as a motive.

"The motive for this murder remains to be established, but if the evidence does link it to his work it would make Ramírez the tenth media worker to be killed in Mexico since the start of the year," Reporters Without Borders said.

"Sinaloa state is, next to Chihuahua in the north, one of the most dangerous in the country," the worldwide press freedom organisation said, pointing to 600 killings since the start of the year in this bastion of one of the country's most dreaded drug cartels. "This means that theinvolvement of organised crime in his murder is highly probable", it added.

Ramírez had worked for La Magia 97.1 for five years before he disappeared without a trace after leaving for work on 9 October.

The most dangerous country for journalists on the American continent (see "Behind the scenes of impunity",, Mexico is ranked 140th out of 173 countries in Reporters Without Borders' 2008 world press freedom index.

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