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Journalist murdered in Veracruz

(ARTICLE 19/IFEX) - Mexico, D.F. July 26, 2011 - The body of journalist Yolanda Ordaz de la Cruz was found on the morning of July 26, 2011 in Boca del Rio, Veracruz (east Mexico). She had been reported missing since the night of Sunday 23 July according to the local newspaper and news agency she worked for.

Ordaz de la Cruz covered crime and security issues for the local newspaper "Notiver". She had been working as a journalist for 20 years. The last time she was seen alive was on 23 July at 9 pm when she left her home and it was not until today at 4 am when her body was found in Boca del Rio, close to the state capital.

For more than 20 years, Ordaz de la Cruz knew and worked with Miguel Angel Lopez Velasco, a well known columnist and former assistant editor of "Notiver". On June 20, a group of unidentified men broke into Lopez Velasco's home killing him, his wife Agustina Solana, and their son, Misael López Solana, who was working as a photographer for "Notiver", also specialising on crime and security issues.

Five journalists have been murdered in Mexico in this year, with four murders having taken place in Veracruz, three of them involving "Notiver" staff. Since 2005, nine journalists have been killed in this region.

ARTICLE 19 expresses its full support and deep condolences to the two daughters of Ordaz de la Cruz and her family, as well as to the "Notiver" staff and the rest of the media community in Veracruz.

We call upon the government of Veracruz and especially on Governor Javier Duarte and State Prosecutor Reynaldo Escobar Pérez to investigate expeditiously the case and to refrain from dismissing beforehand the possibility that the murder was linked to Ordaz de la Cruz's professional activtiy. We also ask that security measures be provided to the "Notiver" staff and their families, so that they are able to seek justice and continue informing their community and the rest of Mexico.
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    Miguel Ángel López Velasco was known for his investigations into drugtrafficking in the 1990s; his son Misael had begun a career as a photographer.

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