Journalists Killed in 2010 - Motive Unconfirmed: María Elvira Hernández Galeana

Nueva Línea
June 28, 2010, in Coyuca de Benítez, Mexico

Hernández, 36, and her husband, Juan Francisco Rodríguez Ríos, 49, were shot dead at the Internet café they owned in the town of Coyuca de Benítez, state of Guerrero, according to international and local news reports.

Two unidentified gunmen broke into the café around 9:30 p.m. and shot the journalists at close range. Rodríguez was shot four times, and Hernández three times, the Mexico City-based daily Milenio reported. Both died at the scene. The couple's 18-year-old son was at the store during the attack but was uninjured, according to the news agency EFE.

Hernández, editor of the local weekly Nueva Línea, covered politics and social issues, colleagues said. Rodríguez was a stringer for the newspaper El Sol de Acapulco and a representative for the national Press Reporters Union. A few hours before the attack, Rodríguez had covered a demonstration marking the 15th anniversary of a confrontation between peasants and state police known as the Massacre of Aguas Blancas, according to Salomón Cruz Gallardo, a union representative. (Police killed 17 people involved in a protest march in Coyuca de Benítez in the 1995 case.)

A spokesman for the state prosecutor told CPJ that the killings had occurred during a robbery. Local journalists were skeptical, saying an Internet café in a small town is not likely to have much cash on hand.

Motive Unconfirmed: CPJ is investigating to determine whether the death was work-related.

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