Reporters Without Borders is saddened to learned that freelance reporter Adrian Silva Moreno was shot dead while covering an army raid on a warehouse containing stolen fuel on 14 November in Tehuacán, located in the east-central state of Puebla about 110 km southeast of its capital.
Advised by soldiers to pull back from the warehouse, Silva had begun driving away when two pickup trucks suddenly appeared and their occupants opened fire on his car, killing him and Misray López González, a former municipal policeman who was accompanying him.
“We urge the authorities to rapidly identify those responsible for Silva’s murder, which was apparently linked to his work as a journalist, and to pursue the case with determination until justice is done,” Reporters Without Borders said, offering its condolences to his family and friends.
“We have repeatedly urged the Mexican government to launch an all-out effort to combat impunity and end the slaughter of media personnel that has gone on for years. Mexico is now the western hemisphere’s deadliest country for journalists, with 100 killed or missing in the past decade.
Reporters Without Borders added: “Five media workers have already been killed in 2012 and four others have disappeared, the latest being Adela Jazmín Alcaraz López, a TV presenter who has been missing since 26 October.
Puntual’s editor told Reporters Without Borders that Silva had continued to supply the newspaper with stories about police operations in the region ever since it employed him in 2010 and 2011 to cover local elections.
Speaking on condition of anonymity, a Puntual journalist who had worked with Silva on crime stories told Reporters Without Borders that his murder may have been ordered.
Known for always being the first reporter at the scene, Silva was present during a federal police operation two weeks ago that led to the arrest of a person for the theft of a car from the company Coppel and the discovery of a container with several other stolen cars inside.
The same Puntual reporter also said that, on going to the morgue where Silva’s body had been taken, he learned that its employees and relatives of Silva had received threats from unidentified persons. On being notified, the police immediately sent 40 officers to protect the morgue.
Silva, who also worked for two other dailies, Punto Noticias and El Mundo de Tehuacán, leaves a wife and two children. After his body was handed over to his family on 15 November, it was taken to the town when he came from, Orizaba, in the nearby state of Veracruz.