Sunday, December 10

Ernesto Méndez, thirteenth journalist murdered in Mexico so far this year

An armed commando killed Mexican journalist Ernesto Méndez on Tuesday in the state of Guanajuato, in the center of the country, which represents the 13th murder of a communicator in Mexico so far this year, as reported by the Article 19 association.

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“Article 19 knows of the murder of Ernesto Méndez, director of the media Your voicehappened yesterday [martes] around 11:00 p.m. local time in San Luis de la Paz, Guanajuato. The crime was perpetrated when an armed commando broke into a bar owned by the Méndez family,” they wrote on Twitter.

The international organization specified that the journalist “had a history of threats”, for which it asked the Special Prosecutor for Attention to Crimes Committed against Freedom of Expression (Feadle) of the Attorney General’s Office (FGR) to investigate the case. .

The events occurred this Tuesday night in a bar in San Luis de la Paz, a municipality of 128,000 inhabitants, located in the northeast of Guanajuato. An armed commando arrived at the scene and shot at the journalist, director of the Your voice, and their companions. The balance of the attack was four people dead, authorities reported.

The newspaper Your voice is a local outlet with information on politics, community and violence in Guanajuato, a state that leads the number of absolute homicides at the national level.

In this context, Article 19 urged the Government Mechanism for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders and Journalists “to contact Ernesto’s family and colleagues in order to grant the necessary protection measures.”

“With Ernesto, there will be 13 murders of journalists in 2022, and at least 9 related to their work. Therefore, we demand that the Mexican State act urgently to stop this phenomenon and we join in the pain of Ernesto’s family, friends and colleagues,” the association said.

Four lines of research

The Mexican authorities have opened four lines of investigation for the murder of the journalist. “One of the main lines that has to be thoroughly investigated is his journalistic work, which, although we have been informed that there were no threats, is an issue that cannot be ruled out,” the state governor said in an interview with the media on Wednesday, Diego Sinhue Rodriguez Vallejo.

The Governor of Guanajuato indicated that, in addition to Ernesto’s journalistic work, there are three other lines of investigation. One of them is related to the bar where the multi-homicide occurred, which was owned by the journalist himself, and who may have been the victim of extortion or a conflict related to the business.

Work is also being done on identifying the people who were with the journalist to verify if any of them had a criminal record that could explain the attack.

The fourth line of investigation, explained the state president, has to do with the Northeast Fair, an event organized by Ernesto Méndez, along with other businessmen. “We know that there are many interests that move in the fairs of the municipalities, there are palenques, cockfights, and things that later become complicated,” said Rodríguez.

The governor said that the murdered journalist had not reported being the victim of any threat, which would have activated the protection protocol established to deal with these cases in the state.

In addition, he commented that he contacted Ricardo Mejía Berdeja, federal undersecretary of Public Security, to give him all the information on the case. “We are in coordination seeking to clarify this fact and that it is not repeated with any other journalist in the state,” he said.

wave of violence

The Reporters Without Borders (RSP) association has denounced “unprecedented” violence in 2022 against the press in Mexico, which remains one of the most dangerous countries to practice journalism in the world.

Before Méndez, journalists Antonio de la Cruz, Yessenia Mollinedo Falconi, Sheila Johana García Olivera, Luis Enrique Ramírez, Lourdes Maldonado, Margarito Martínez, Heber López Cruz, Juan Carlos Muñiz, Jorge Camero Zazueta, Roberto Toledo, José Luis Gamboa and Armando Linares.

The murders of journalists reflect the wave of violence in Mexico, which registered 33,315 homicides in 2021 after the 2 most violent years in its history, under the mandate of Andrés Manuel López Obrador, with 34,690 murder victims in 2019 and 34,554 in 2020.