Two years of impunity in murder of Zeta columnist in Tijuana

first_img Follow the news on Mexico In the two years since Francisco Javier Ortiz Franco (photo), columnist and co-founder of the weekly Zeta, was gunned down on 22 June 2004 in Tijuana, the investigation has bogged down and those responsible for the murder remain unpunished. Reporters Without Borders says the investigation should be restarted from scratch by the special prosecutor’s office that was created in February to investigate violence against the press. MexicoAmericas 2011-2020: A study of journalist murders in Latin America confirms the importance of strengthening protection policies Receive email alerts Reports News RSF_en NSO Group hasn’t kept its promises on human rights, RSF and other NGOs say May 5, 2021 Find out more MexicoAmericas Organisation Help by sharing this information News May 13, 2021 Find out more On the eve of the second anniversary of the murder of Francisco Javier Ortiz Franco, columnist and co-founder of the weekly news magazine Zeta, on 22 June 2004 in the northwestern border town of Tijuana, Reporters Without Borders voiced outrage today that the case has never come to trial, despite the arrests of several suspected perpetrators and accomplices.“Ortiz’s murder and the failures of the investigation that followed are sadly emblematic of the impunity that surrounds violence against the press in Mexico, which last year became the western hemisphere’s most dangerous country for journalists,” the press freedom organisation said. “In the course of two years, none of the arrests has led to an indictment and no trial has been held. Must we resign ourselves to never seeing this case solved?”Reporters Without Borders added: “We call on the new special prosecutor’s office that was created on 15 February to restart the investigation from scratch and to give itself the necessary resources, including an extension to its mandate so that it can investigate cases linked to drug trafficking and organised crime.”A member of the team that founded Zeta in 1980, Ortiz was shot four times on 22 June 2004 by two masked gunmen in front of his two children, then aged 8 and 10, on a street in Tijuana, the capital of Baja California state and a major centre for trafficking drugs into the neighbouring United States. Aged 48, Ortiz had often written about drug trafficking and local corruption. This was the third shooting attack against a member of the Zeta staff. The first, on 20 April 1988, cost the life of reporter Héctor Félix Miranda. Managing editor Jésus Blancornelas was badly injured in the second one, on 27 November 1997, but survived.The magazine did its own investigation into Ortiz’s murder and published a list of suspects in July 2004. It named future Tijuana mayor Jorge Hank Rhon and two members of the so-called Tijuana cartel (a drug trafficking cartel reputedly run by the Arellano Felix brothers), Arturo “El Nalgón” Villareal and Eduardo “El Niño” Ronquillo, as the alleged instigators of the murder.According to the magazine, the murder was carried out by Ronquillo himself, together with Heriberto “El Lazca” Lazcano, a member of a paramilitary group called “Los Zetas,” and another gunmen, Armando Gálvez Flores. The magazine’s investigations came to similar conclusions to the one carried out at the time by the Baja California prosecutor’s office. Nonetheless, no one was charged.The case was transferred on 18 August 2004 to federal judicial officials who have the job of combatting organised crime. They lost no time in blaming the murder on the Arellano Felix cartel but ruled out any possibility that Rhon – who had become mayor on 1 August 2004 – was directly involved.Ray del Billar, also known as “El Rey,” a young man who used to run a division of the Tijuana-based cartel led by Arturo Villareal, was arrested along with seven other traffickers a year later, on 4 August 2005. Del Billar quickly admitted to the Ortiz murder, but Zeta cast doubt his confession, claiming that “El Lazca” was probably the hit man.The justice minister said on 3 May of this year that three persons had been arrested in the Ortiz case, one for allegedly supplying the vehicle used by the hit man, and two others on suspicion of knowing in advance about the murder plans. The minister gave no further details about these suspects, but he said the hit man had probably been murdered by Tijuana cartel members who were directly involved.Six journalists have been killed in connection with their work in Mexico since 2000. Most of them had written about contraband and drug trafficking. No one has even been arrested or tried for ordering these murders. Strangely, the special prosecutor’s office that was set up in February to investigate violence against the press is not supposed to handle cases in which organised crime is suspected. News Reporter murdered in northwestern Mexico’s Sonora state to go further June 21, 2006 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Two years of impunity in murder of Zeta columnist in Tijuana April 28, 2021 Find out morelast_img read more

Police looking for possibly armed suspect near Wilson hospital

first_imgJOHNSON CITY (WBNG) — Wilson Medical Center has confirmed the hospital is no longer in lockdown. —– More information was not released. JOHNSON CITY (WBNG) — Police say a person was spotted around 9 a.m. but they fled from police. 1:01 P.M. UPDATE: 4:45 A.M. UPDATE This is a developing story. Stay with 12 News as we gather more information.center_img A 12 News crew on scene saw a K-9 being used by the Broome County Sheriff’s Office. In a phone alert, Wilson Medical Center alerted employees the facility would be on lockdown while police searched for an “individual believed to be armed” near the WMC campus. —– Authorities say no known weapons were involved in this incident. JOHNSON CITY (WBNG) — Police are looking for a possibly armed man Thursday night. last_img read more

The Community Farm Land Trust Permanently Protects West Olympia Farmland

first_imgSubmitted by South of the Sound Community Farm Land Trust (SSCFLT) On June 26, 2015, the South of the Sound Community Farm Land Trust (SSCFLT) successfully completed its efforts to permanently preserve 1.18 acres of urban farmland in West Olympia. The land will be used by non-profit Garden Raised Bounty (GRuB) for their nationally recognized youth programming. GRuB brings together youth and people who identify as low-income to grow themselves good food and community.Funded by Thurston County’s Conservation Futures program, SSCFLT’s acquisition protects an irreplaceable parcel of land that yields over 10,000 pounds of produce annually. Food grown on the land is donated to the Thurston County Food Bank, goes home with low-income youth, and is sold through a farm stand and farmers markets to support GRuB’s operations.The acquisition not only helps GRuB continue its important work, but also furthers SSCFLT’s mission to preserve working farmland and keep it accessible and affordable for local farmers. The average age of farmers in the U.S. is 57 and rising, and over two-thirds of the country’s farmland is expected to change hands in the next two decades. SSCFLT views its partnership with GRuB as a way to help train and empower a new generation of farmers and farmland stewards.GRuB In The School provides students an opportunity to lead farm and community work while learning leadership and life skills. The program is designed to help students grow and succeed in school, life and future employment.GRuB’s alternative school model brings low-income and disengaged youth to the urban farm for a unique hands-on learning experience and vocational training. Their innovative curriculum creates opportunities for youth to grow food, learn about leadership and life skills, and contribute to community food solutions. GRuB students gain deeper leadership skills by hosting younger students in GRuB’s field trip program or being employed as second year summer crew leaders. In addition, GRuB’s pollination program now teaches its youth program model and provides technical assistance so other communities can replicate it.GRuB’s Kitchen Garden Project also gives low-income people access to resources and community connections by offering them backyard gardens, training and mentorship. Lastly, GRuB relies on volunteers to accomplish much of its work. Inspired by its success with youth, GRuB trains its volunteers and stakeholders to increase their awareness, self-advocacy, communication skills and leadership so they may more deeply engage in GRuB’s programs, the community, and the broader Food Movement.SSCFLT’s preservation of the 1.18 acres of farmland ensures that GRuB can continue its programming in perpetuity. SSCFLT is proud to support the important role GRuB plays in the South Sound community. For more information about SSCFLT and its work to preserve local farmland, visit For more information about GRuB, visit Facebook176Tweet0Pin0last_img read more

Brian Lara rues Australia not giving David Warner opportunity to break his 400 record

first_imgImage Courtesy: The Cricket TimesAdvertisement 3lNBA Finals | Brooklyn VsmyWingsuit rodeo📽Sindre Ecqj97( IG: @_aubreyfisher @imraino ) aajlugWould you ever consider trying this?😱bxnftfCan your students do this? 🌚4clsRoller skating! Powered by Firework David Warner mesmerized the Adelaide Oval with an unbeaten knock of 335 against Pakistan in the second test. Brian Lara, currently the batsman with the highest individual score feels that Tim Paine should have given a chance to the left-hander to surpass his record score of 400. Advertisement Image Courtesy: The Cricket TimesWarner slewed his way into the record books by registering the fourth fastest triple ton and also surpassing the scores of Mark Taylor and Don Bradman in the process.Brian Lara, who was in Adelaide coincidentally owing to some commercial engagements felt that he would be able to congratulate Warner on scaling his score just like how Gary Sobers did the same with Lara when he scored 375 against England in 1994. The West Indian legend said:Advertisement “I was hoping they might catch me and get me (out) there and that was one of the reasons I was hoping they might have let him go for it,” “It would have been amazing to walk out there (as Sobers did). Records are made to be broken. It’s great when they are broken by attacking players. Entertainers. Being in Adelaide I would have got an opportunity to if not walk out at least meet him at this opportune time,”Advertisement Read Also:Nepal bowler Anjali Chand takes 6 wicket for 0 and breaks all time T20 recordThe Final Hurdle: Sourav Ganguly’s message to Indian team; If you get to the semis, go past it!   Advertisementlast_img read more