Wednesday, January 19

Two journalists murdered in Mexico in the last 24 hours

Mexican journalists Enrique García (left) and Gustavo Sánchez (right).
Mexican journalists Enrique García (left) and Gustavo Sánchez (right).RR.SS

Two journalists have been killed in Mexico in the last 24 hours. Early this morning, the police reporter Gustavo Sánchez was shot in Tehuantepec, Oaxaca. 700 kilometers from there, in the municipality of Metepec, in the State of Mexico, the body of journalist Enrique García was found aboard his vehicle at midnight. The crimes of Sánchez and García add to the black list that has made Mexico the most dangerous country in the world for the press.

Gustavo Sánchez was with his son on a motorcycle when he was shot by unidentified assailants, according to the Oaxaca General Prosecutor’s Office. The attack took place around 08:30 on the road to San Vicente and Morro Mazatán, where the journalist lived. It was not the first time that the reporter, who covered the hydrocarbon traffic in the area, was attacked. “There were antecedents,” acknowledges the Prosecutor’s Office. In July of last year, Sánchez was shot in the presence of his family next to his home. In that aggression he came to warn in different WhatsApp groups that he was bleeding and needed an ambulance.

As a result of this attack, the reporter, who had also received other threats, was integrated into the Mechanism for the Protection of Journalists on June 1. The Interior Ministry ruled just two weeks ago that the journalist should have an assistance button with a location for immediate reaction. Thus, although Sánchez should have been under the care of the Oaxaca Public Security Secretary, at the time of the attack this morning he did not have protection.

The state prosecutor, Arturo Peimbert Calvo, pointed out this Thursday that Sánchez’s coverage of the electoral process, which denounced criminal acts and was very critical of some political groups, is going to be one of the lines of investigation. “His activity affected some interest and we are reviewing that part, we are going to proceed with full force, an attack on anyone who gives voice to those who have no voice, is an attack on society,” said Peimbert.

Information on the case of journalist Enrique García is scarce. The Mexico State Prosecutor’s Office has confirmed to EL PAÍS that the body of the reporter was found at midnight in Metepec aboard a compact vehicle. At the moment the line of investigation handled by the Prosecutor’s Office is robbery, since García “did not exercise the journalistic profession at this time”, but “was working on a platform for the transport of people by private cars.” García, with extensive experience as an informant, had worked in the communication department of the Government of the State of Mexico.

The latest report by Reporters Without Borders (RSF) ranked Mexico as the most lethal in the world for the press with eight journalists killed in 2020. The violent deaths of 50 informants are recorded worldwide. The association highlighted the violence and cruelty of which journalists in the country were victims. The director of RSF’s office in Latin America, Emmanuel Colombié, has made several appeals to local and federal authorities to become aware of “the situation of extreme vulnerability in which journalists find themselves and to do what is necessary to guarantee their security in the region and in the country ”.

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. “

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