Another Mexican journalist murdered, sixth this year
Reporters Without Borders (RSF) calls on local and federal authorities to conduct an exemplary investigation into this week’s murder of a journalist in Cuernavaca, in the central Mexican state of Morelos, and to ensure that those who ordered this apparent contract killing are brought to justice.
Manuel González Reyes had just finished having lunch in the Patios de la Estación district of Cuernavaca on the afternoon of 28 September when he was gunned down by two men on a motorcycle, who immediately drove off. He died on the spot.
RSF has been told that the casings of several 9mm bullets were found at the scene. The spokesperson of the Morelos prosecutor’s office told RSF that so far the investigators have “not ruled out any hypothesis.”
González covered local news, especially business, politics and crime, for PM Noticias de Morelos, a Facebook news page he founded in 2017. He had recently covered several local murders and shooting attacks. In last June’s municipal elections, he was the Bienestar Ciudadano party’s candidate for mayor of Emiliano Zapata, the town where he lived, which adjoins Cuernavaca.
“Everything indicates that Mexico will again be one of the world’s deadliest countries for journalists this year, if not the deadliest” said Emmanuel Colombié, the head of RSF’s Latin America bureau. “Given this terrifying prospect, the federal authorities must act and must take courageous decisions in order to rein in the spiralling violence. The murder of Manuel
González Reyes, like the deaths of so many other journalists, must not remain unpunished.”
Located immediately to the south of Mexico City, Morelos state saw more than 407 homicides in the first half of 2021, 17.6% more than in the first half of 2020, according to the National System for Public Safety (SNSP).
González is the sixth journalist, at least, to be murdered in Mexico this year. The previous known murder victims are Jacinto Romero Flores (on 19 August), Ricardo López (on 22 July), Abraham Mendoza (on 19 July), Gustavo Sánchez Cabrera (on 17 June) and Felipe Enrique García (on 16 June). Two other journalists, Jorge Molontzin Centlal and Felipe Romero Chávez, have been missing since March.
Mexico is ranked 143rd out of 180 countries in RSF's 2021 World Press Freedom Index.