Francisco Javier Ortiz Franco, an editor and co-founder of Zeta, a weekly newsmagazine in Tijuana, was assassinated on June 22. He was 47.
Ortiz was sitting in his car with his two young children when a masked gunman approached the vehicle and fired four bullets into his face and neck. The children were not wounded.
Ortiz helped launch Zeta in 1980, and was a member of its editorial board for the past 16 years. A practicing attorney, he wrote the legal affairs column “To Start With,” and edited articles about drug trafficking, people smuggling and political corruption that were written by the paper’s top editor, J. Jesús Blancornelas.
Seven years ago, Blancornelas barely survived a machine-gun assault by suspected drug traffickers; he currently has round-the-clock protection. Hector Felix Miranda, another founder of Zeta, was murdered in 1988.
Journalists all over the world have condemned the slaying of Ortiz. On June 24, dozens of reporters and editors demonstrated in Tijuana, demanding that authorities solve the case, make an arrest and prevent future acts of intimidation on members of the media.