Sunday, May 28

Violence against journalists: 3 journalists have been killed in 2022; there are 28 in AMLO’s government

Mexico is one of the most dangerous countries to practice journalism and the administration of Andrés Manuel López Obrador seems unable to stop the violence that afflicts the union. The crisis is so great that in January 2022 alone, three journalists have been murdered.

This Sunday night the communicator was murdered Lourdes Maldonado Lopez in Tijuana, Baja California. the journalist was shot to death upon arriving at his home while he was still in his vehicle.

In 2019, Maldonado went to the president’s morning press conference and called for help and labor justice “because I even fear for my life”.

Lourdes Maldonado had been immersed in a labor dispute for years over the company Primer Sistema de Noticias (PSN), owned by Jaime Bonilla, former Governor of Baja California. The reporter had recently announced that she had won the dispute after nine years of litigation.

Days before, on January 17, the murder of Margarito Martinez Esquivel, police photojournalist in Tijuana. The communicator was also shot to death as he left his home.

The 49-year-old photojournalist was a beneficiary of the protection mechanism for journalists in Baja California and his incorporation into the same scheme of the Federal Ministry of the Interior was being analyzed.

According to his co-workers, Martínez Esquivel felt threatened, especially by local criminal groups, and feared for his life.

Likewise, during the first days of January, the death of the Mexican communicator was confirmed. Jose Luis Gamboa, who died after being attacked with a knife during an alleged assault in Veracruz.

Gamboa was director of the digital newspaper Inforegio. He died on January 10, but his body was not identified until four days later.

Reporters Without Borders (RSF) then said that “Gamboa had denounced and strongly criticized local authorities for their relationship with organized crime.” and asked that his journalistic work not be ruled out as an alleged motive for the crime.

Journalists assassinated during the AMLO government

Since 2018, the year in which López Obrador assumed the Presidency of the Republic, 56 journalists have been killed and four more are reported missing, according to Civic Proposal Research and Training Center, an organization that has kept a record of the homicides and disappearances of those who exercise this profession in Mexico since 2006.

So far, Civic Proposal has documented and denounced the murder of 146 journalists and the disappearance of 17 more.

The numbers are not much different at the independent human rights organization Article 19, who since 2000 have documented 148 murders of journalists in Mexico. Of the total, 136 are men and 12 are women.

Of these, 47 were registered during the previous term of President Enrique Peña Nieto and 28 in the current one by Andrés Manuel López Obrador.

According to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (Unesco), Mexico is the second deadliest country for journalists, after Syria. 86 percent of the homicides of communicators since 2006 have gone unpunished.

Likewise, the organization Article 19 qualifies Mexico in the position 143 in the 2021 World Press Freedom Index.