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Killing of journalists' sons probed

07 May 2013, 15:05

Mexico City - Media rights groups called on Monday for a thorough probe into the murder of two sons of Mexican journalists, slamming authorities for saying the killings were unrelated to the parents' work.

Alfredo and Diego Paramo Gonzalez, aged 20 and 21, were shot several times early on Saturday by gunmen, who had followed their car in the capital of the northern state of Chihuahua, one of the most violent in the country.

Carlos Gonzalez Estrada, a spokesperson for the state prosecutor's office, said the killings in the eponymous city of Chihuahua were "not linked to the journalism work" of their parents.

The two young men were the sons of David Paramo, a financial journalist for TV Azteca based in Mexico City, and Marta Gonzalez Nicholson, the director of a Chihuahua newspaper.

Mike O'Connor, of the US-based Committee to Protect Journalists, said authorities were "wrong" to issue an opinion in the case so quickly.

"We ask state and federal authorities to conduct a thorough investigation, that they don't rule out any line of investigation, including that it could be related to the parents' profession," Balbina Flores, Mexico representative of media rights group Reporters Without Borders, told AFP.

Ongoing investigation

Chihuahua Governor Cesar Duarte said the prosecutor's spokesperson had based his statement on comments that the victims' mother made at the funeral.

A spokesperson for the mother said the investigation was ongoing and that "all theories must be taken into account, but for now there is no evidence that could link this crime with the journalism activities" of the parents.

President Enrique Peña Nieto expressed his condolences to the parents and ordered the federal attorney general's office to send a team to assist state prosecutors in the investigation.

Attorney general Jesus Murillo told local media late on Monday that an individual had been detained and could soon be named a suspect.

Chihuahua, which borders Texas, is one of the most violent states in Mexico, a country engulfed in brutal turf wars between drug cartels, which have left more than 70 000 people dead since 2006.

Mexico is among the most dangerous places in the world for journalists.

The National Commission for Human Rights reported last week that 84 media workers have been killed, while another 20 have disappeared in the past decade, and most of the crimes remain unsolved.



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