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Drug Hit Men Kill Journalist, Claim Life of Volunteer

When living in Mexico, reporting on local drug dealers and cartels can be a dangerous and even deadly job. A recent news report told of the death of a long-missing journalist in the Gulf coast state of Tabasco. Rodolfo Rincon, who worked for the newspaper in Tabasco Hoy, was killed by a drug cartel’s hit men. His body was then dissolved in acid.

Silvia Gil, a spokesman for the Tabasco state prosecutor, told reporters that the fate of Rincon was learned from another hit man who had been arrested. While the man was not identified, Gil said he had admitted to belonging to a gang of hit men known as the Zetas. Rincon was killed over his articles.

Mexico continues to be one of the world’s most dangerous countries for journalists. According to watchdog groups, more than 60 have been slain since 2000. In the state of Sinaloa, Red Cross workers refused to offer ambulance service Sunday and Monday to protest the killing of a volunteer and the lack of government protection for emergency workers.

The volunteer, Maria Rogers, 20, was killed on Sunday by a stray bullet when gunmen went into a Red Cross hospital trying to finish off a man who had been shot minutes earlier. This man survived.

Sinaloa is in Mexico’s drug-smuggling heartland. More than 400 people have been killed this year in this state alone. Throughout Mexico, the drug violence has claimed more than 15,000 people. Violence throughout the country escalated when the president launched a crackdown on the activities of drug cartels.

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