Thursday, January 27

Two More Mexican Journalists Killed as Reporters Condemn Worsening Violence | Mexico

Mexican journalists have voiced alarm after two veteran reporters were attacked in their own homes in less than 24 hours, bringing the death toll of media workers to nine this year, already surpassing the eight recorded deaths. in 2020.

Fredy López Arévalo, a veteran reporter from the southern state of Chiapas, was shot in the head inside his home in the city of San Cristóbal de las Casas on Thursday. López had covered Central American politics and the Zapatista uprising for news organizations such as Reuters, Los Angeles Times, and Notimex, and still reported on the local political situation.

On the same day, the Acapulco journalist Alfredo Cardoso He was taken from her home by masked gunmen who also threatened her family. He was found the next day with five shots fired and died of his injuries in hospital on Sunday, according to the press freedom organization Reporters Without Borders.

Cardoso previously worked as a photojournalist in Acapulco, a city that was once the jewel in the crown of Mexican tourist destinations but has been a hotbed of drug cartel violence for more than a decade. Most recently, he was manager of the online news site Revista Dos Costas.

“The situation of journalists in Acapulco and all of Guerrero [state] it’s gotten worse, ”said Bernandino Hernández, a photojournalist for the coastal city.

“Journalists have been threatened, some have had to flee. It’s a really dangerous situation, ”he said.

No suspect has been arrested for any of the crimes. Crimes committed against Mexican journalists almost always wallow in impunity, the product of inept and inadequate investigations, a lack of political will to stop the killings of media workers, and frequent collusion between drug cartels.

The two attacks reinforced Mexico’s reputation as the most murderous country for journalists in the hemisphere.

The country’s murder rate has risen steadily since then-President Felipe Calderón declared a militarized offensive against drug cartels in 2006.

In the same period, attacks on journalists have also skyrocketed. Analysts say those most at risk are reporters covering the intersection between local politics and drug trafficking.

“These murders occur in a context of continuous deterioration of security in the country, for all citizens, but particularly for human rights defenders and journalists,” said Jan-Albert Hootsen, representative in Mexico of the Committee for the Protection of the Journalists.

“These attacks are fueled by impunity, which is almost complete in crimes against the press. The government of [President Andrés Manuel] López Obrador has not been willing to take significant measures to strengthen the state of justice or protect journalists ”.

Mexico registered 36,773 homicides in 2020, despite the pandemic and quarantines, according to the state statistics service INEGI – slightly higher than the 36,661 homicides registered in 2019.

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