Fourth Mexican Journalist Killed in 2009

Mexico continues to be a dangerous place for journalists. Reporters Without Borders announced earlier this week the murder of journalist Juan Daniel Martínez Gil, whose half-buried body was found on July 28th near the port city of Acapulco. The Acapulco-based radio presenter had been badly beaten, a cloth was stuffed in his mouth and his head was wrapped in masking tape.

According to the autopsy report, Martínez, who was only 48 years old and was the host of the Radiorama FM radio programmes "W Guerrero" and "Guerrero Vivo", died as a result of asphyxia on the night of July 27th. "We offer our condolences to Martínez's family and colleagues and we urge the local and federal authorities to assign enough personnel to the case so that they can quickly identify those responsible for the murder and their motives, which are still unknown," Reporters Without Borders said.

His colleagues and friends are shocked and saddened by his death. Radiorama colleague Arturo Pérez Calzada said. "As far we know, he had not received any threats. We do not cover stories involving drug trafficking. This is a strange case." Local investigators have not yet developed any hypotheses.

Sadly, Martínez is the second Radiorama journalist to be murdered in the past two and a half years. Amado Ramírez Dillanes was gunned down as he left the radio station on April 6th, 2007. With four journalists murdered since the start of this year, crimes of violence against the media are continuing to mount in Mexico. Martínez's death brings the total number of journalists murdered in Mexico since 2000 to 50.