Televisa reporter killed

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MEXICO CITY -- A correspondent for Mexican media group Televisa was shot and killed over the weekend in the Pacific resort town of Acapulco, prompting international organization Reporters Without Borders to demand a federal investigation.

Two unidentified gunmen killed Amado Ramirez, Televisa's Acapulco correspondent, after he had finished a radio show late Friday, according to a preliminary police investigation. The motive was unclear.

With drug-related violence on the rise here, nongovernment organizations and victims' families have expressed growing concern that the journalism profession in Mexico has become increasingly more dangerous in recent years.

A recent report issued by Paris-based press group Reporters Without Borders ranked Iraq as the most dangerous nation for the media, followed by Mexico, which moved ahead of Colombia in the number of media professionals killed.

"A disturbingly record number of journalists and media workers were killed or thrown in prison around the world in 2006 and we are already concerned about 2007," Reporters Without Borders said.

The NGO urged the Mexican government to take a more active role in curbing the spate of attacks on reporters and editors.

"Ramirez's death must be taken seriously by authorities," a statement issued Saturday said. "There must be a major effort to establish the circumstances of this journalist's execution-style killing and to identify those responsible, and the case must be handled at the federal level."

Three reporters have gone missing and at least 22 have been murdered in Mexico since 2000, according to the press organization. Last year, Mexico created a special federal prosecutor's office to investigate violent crimes against the media.

Much of the violence has occurred along the Mexico-U.S. border, where turf wars among rival drug cartels have claimed the lives of numerous Mexican reporters, editors, police officials and drug traffickers.
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