Friday, May 27

Photojournalist shot dead in Mexico

Mexican photojournalist Margarito Martínez Esquivel, who collaborated for various local print and digital media in the Mexican city of Tijuana, was shot to death this Monday outside his home. The photojournalist, known as “el 4-4”, had entered the Protection Protocol for Journalists, after a man had accused him on social networks and without arguments, of collaborating with some portals used to spread apology for organized crime.

According to the first reports, Martínez Esquivel was next to a vehicle outside his home when a person shot him several times, and then fled in an unknown direction. Due to the shots, paramedics from the Mexican Red Cross went to the reporter’s home where they found him on the ground, already lifeless. According to the first line of investigation, based on data provided by witnesses, a drunken man would have been responsible, however there are no further details about this person whose whereabouts are unknown.

Margarito Martínez Esquivel currently worked as a photojournalist for portals such as Semanario Zeta, Cadena Noticias, Pulse Ciudadano, La Jornada Baja California and Punto Norte, among others. In addition, he was repeatedly interviewed by international media interested in covering high-impact crimes in Tijuana.

Martínez Esquivel would have entered the Protection Protocol for Journalists after a ‘blogger’ identified as Ángel Peña, accused him without legal basis of supporting and disseminating organized crime, which, in life, Margarito publicly denied. In the journalistic association of Baja California, his work is recognized for the coverage of police events in the city of Tijuana, mainly in the Sánchez Taboada delegation, considered one of the most dangerous in this border region.

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The death of Martínez Esquivel is the first of a journalist in Mexico in 2022. Mexico is one of the most violent countries in the world for the journalistic profession and every year there are numerous murders, attacks and intimidations against the press by organized crime and of authorities. According to Article 19, an organization founded in 1987 that defends freedom of expression and the right to information, in Mexico during 2021 there were seven murders of journalists, among the more than 600 attacks recorded in the year, which confirms that violence against the press remains unchanged in the country. With the seven murders in 2021 and 145 so far in the 21st century, Mexico is one of the most violent countries in the world for the journalistic profession and according to the Reporters Without Borders (RSF) organization, the country ranks 143 out of 180 countries in its 2021 World Press Freedom Index.

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