Crime & Justice

Journalist gunned down in central Mexico

Mexico City, Aug 3 (EFE).- The editor of a newspaper in the central state of Guanajuato was fatally shot, bringing to 13 the number of journalists slain in Mexico this year, the regional chapter of press freedom group Article 19 said Wednesday.

“Article 19 learns of the murder of Ernesto Mendez, editor of Tu Voz, yesterday (Tuesday) at around 11:00 pm in San Luis de la Paz, Guanajuato. The killing was perpetrated when armed commandos burst into a bar owned by the Mendez family,” the organization said on Twitter.

Mendez had received threats prior to the shooting, according to Article 19 Mexico-Central America, which called on the office of the federal special prosecutor for offenses against freedom of expression to take charge of the investigation.

Tu Voz reports extensively on local politics and crime in Guanajuato, which is sixth among Mexico’s 32 federal jurisdictions in population, yet has led the nation in homicides since 2018 and saw 1,566 murders in the first half of this year.

Authorities in the state say that 90 percent of killings stem from territorial struggles among rival criminal groups for control of drug trafficking and the trade in fuel stolen from pipelines.

Nationwide, murders fell to 33,315 last year after topping 34,000 in 2019 and 2020, the two deadliest years on record in Mexico.

Article 19, named for the press-freedom provision of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, urged authorities to reach out to the family and colleagues of Mendez and offer them protection.

“With Ernesto, there are 13 murders of journalists in 2022, and at least nine of them connected to their work. So we demand that the Mexican state act urgently to halt this phenomenon and we join in the grief of Ernesto’s family, friends and colleagues,” the group concluded. EFE


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