The black list of attacks on the press continues in Mexico. This Thursday, journalist Fredy López Arévalo was shot dead in San Cristóbal de las Casas, Chiapas. The attack took place around eight o’clock in the afternoon at the door of the reporter’s home, who was returning home accompanied by his wife and children. The State Prosecutor’s Office has confirmed the death of López Arévalo, who was a correspondent for The financial and The universal in Central America and currently directed the magazine Jovel. With this crime, there are already nine journalists killed in Mexico this year.
López Arévalo and his family returned this Thursday from Tuxtla Gutiérrez, the Chiapas capital, where they had celebrated the journalist’s mother’s birthday, as he had communicated on his social networks. At the entrance of his home, in the Las Rosas neighborhood, a hit man shot the reporter, who died at the scene of the attack. The aggressor has fled aboard a motorcycle. “I strongly condemn the cowardly murder of journalist Fredy López Arévalo. No crime will go unpunished, investigations are ongoing. My solidarity with his family and friends ”, the governor of Chiapas, Rutilio Escandón, wrote on his Twitter account.
With a long career behind him, the journalist was now the host of XERA-Radio Uno and directed the magazine Jovel, which was published in San Cristóbal de las Casas. He started journalism at the age of 21 and soon moved to Mexico City as a reporter for various media, although he never lost contact with information from his native state.
In 1989 it was his first foray into a long list of coverage in Central America: he covered elections in Guatemala and Nicaragua, where he chronicled the fall of the Sandinistas and the triumph of Violeta Chamorro. He lived for some years in San José, in Costa Rica, from where he served as regional coordinator for the Mexican public news agency, Notimex, and another period in Panama, for the magazine International panorama. In 1993 he was hired as a correspondent for the newspaper The universal in Central America, with official headquarters in Guatemala. Shortly after, he returned to Chiapas to cover the first moments of the uprising of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN), in 1994. He came to interview Major Mario, who was in charge of the Zapatista troops in the municipality of Ocosingo.
Accustomed to traveling around Europe as a reporter, López Arévalo spent a long time on the other continent, although he always returned to Chiapas. From there he worked as a liaison for the Los Angeles Times to a Notimex delegate and also founded the Maya Press news agency, with dispatches in Spanish, English and French.
The reporter was writing a book that began when he was residing in the United States: Marcel, almost a novel. “The story of a French idealist who left his bohemian life in Paris behind to venture through Chiapas in search of the legendary Subcomandante Marcos, political and military leader of the EZLN,” defined the journalist himself, “is an unfinished, latent project.”
Great voices of journalism have lamented this afternoon the murder of the renowned reporter, and demand justice from the Prosecutor’s Office for his case. Mexico was named in 2020 as the most lethal country for the press, according to a report by Reporters Without Borders (RSF) after the murder of eight journalists. So far this year, with the López Arévalo crime, there are already nine reporters murdered.
In May, Benjamin Morales Hernandez, 50-year-old, founder of Xonoida News, was kidnapped and murdered in northern Sonora. He had denounced the threats. In the middle of June, less than 24 hours apart and separated by more than 700 kilometers, Gustavo Sánchez (in Oaxaca) and Enrique García (in the State of Mexico) joined this black list, which makes Mexico the country with the most lethal where to report. A few days later the body of the journalist was found Saúl Tijerina, 25 years old, in Ciudad Acuña (Coahuila), disappeared at dawn on June 22 when he was leaving working in a factory.
Abraham Mendoza was assassinated on July 19 when at the doors of a gym in Morelia (Michoacán). Mendoza had a radio space on the EXA 91.5 station and worked for the Artists Rights Foundation art dissemination organization. That same week Ricardo López, director of the InfoGuaymas portal in Sonora, was shot dead in a supermarket parking lot. The communicator, who turned 47 that day, had denounced in a press conference that he had received threats from organized crime this year. Jacinto Romero, host of Ori Stereo FM, was shot on August 19 in Veracruz while driving his car. The last was at the end of September Manuel González in Cuernavaca in front of a street food stall.
The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) has stressed the lack of support for journalists by President Andrés Manuel López Obrador. “He promised to take concrete measures to end violence against the press and immunity for the murder of journalists. However, this cycle continues unchanged, “the organization denounced in December, aware that in the vast majority of murder cases,” no accused has been convicted and the intellectual authors remain free. ” According to a report by the organization Article 19, every 13 hours there is an attack on a media worker in the country.
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Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.