MEXICO CITY (AP) — International press groups expressed concern Tuesday about a spike in the number of journalists killed in Mexico, after three were murdered within the space of 10 days.
The Committee to Protect Journalists, Reporters Without Borders and the Inter American Press Association urged Mexico to do more to investigate the killings and protect journalists.
The CPJ lists Mexico as the deadliest country in the world for journalists in 2020; the IAPA says ten media workers have been killed in Mexico so far this year.
On Monday, gunmen killed a reporter for a local news site while he was covering a story in Guanajuato. On Nov. 2, a man shot to death online reporter and photographer Jesús Alfonso Piñuelas in the northern state of Sonora. On Oct. 29, television journalist Arturo Alba Medina was shot to death in the border city of Ciudad Juárez, across from El Paso, Texas.
Emmanuel Colombié, the Latin America director for Reporters Without Borders, said in the states most plagued by corruption and organized crime, journalists are ever more vulnerable and more exposed to reprisals.
Inter American Press Association President Jorge Canahuati, said “it is outrageous that journalists continue to be killed in Mexico, and that the crime against them and their relatives is compounded by a lack of justice.”
On Monday, gunmen killed Israel Vázquez Rangel, a reporter for the online newspaper El Salmantino while he was covering a story in Guanajuato, the state with the most homicides in Mexico.
Vázquez Rangel showed up at a scene in the city of Salamanca where body parts had reportedly been left on a street. He reportedly arrived in a car with the news site’s logo. Apparently, the killers were still there when he arrived, and two men opened fire on him.
Jan-Albert Hootsen, the CPJ Mexico representative, wrote that “the brazen killing of Israel Vázquez Rangel underscores how Mexico is more dangerous for reporters than even war zones.”
Guanajuato, a farming and industrial hub in north-central Mexico, saw 3,453 slayings in the first nine months of the year, more than any other of Mexico’s 32 states. The state is the epicenter of turf wars between the Jalisco drug cartel, local gangs and the Sinaloa cartel.
On Nov. 2, a man shot to death online reporter and photographer Jesús Alfonso Piñuelas as he was riding his motorcycle in the northern state of Sonora. A suspect with past drug convictions was arrested and plead guilty to the crime, but the motive in the crime remains unclear.
In late October, television journalist Arturo Alba Medina was shot to death in the border city of Ciudad Juárez, across from El Paso, Texas. Alba Medina worked as a TV anchor and served as spokesman for a local college. Local media said he reported on crime and violence.
In early September, newspaper reporter Julio Valdivia was killed in Mexico’s Gulf coast state of Veracruz and decapitated. Valdivia covered a rural zone near the border with Oaxaca state that has long been plagued by gang violence.
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