Antonio de la Cruz is the 12th journalist to be murdered in Mexico this year
Reporters Without Borders (RSF) is appalled by newspaper reporter Antonio de la Cruz’s murder on 29 June in Ciudad Victoria, the capital of the northeastern state of Tamaulipas, which brings the number of journalists killed in Mexico since the start of the year to 12. The authorities must bring those responsible to justice and must overhaul mechanisms for protecting media personnel, RSF says.
“The list of victims of violence against the press in Mexico grows inexorably but no courageous decision has been taken by the government to stop this deadly spiral and to provide journalists with better protection,” said Emmanuel Colombié, the head of RSF’s Latin America bureau. “The federal and Tamaulipas authorities must urgently identify those responsible for Antonio de la Cruz’s murder and bring them to justice.”
An individual on a motor-cycle opened fire on Antonio de la Cruz as he was driving away from his home with his 23-year-old daughter Cynthia, who was also badly wounded. The 48-year-old reporter died of his gunshot injuries a few minutes later.
De la Cruz had worked for the local newspaper Expreso and its online version, Expreso.press, for 23 years, covering a range of subjects including the food industry. Expreso editor Miguel Domínguez told RSF he was a very outspoken journalist who was every active on social media, where he addressed subjects linked to crime and politics in the region.
“He was killed because of his journalistic work” although he had not reported receiving any recent threats, Domínguez said.
De la Cruz was not one of the several members of Expreso’s staff who have been receiving protection from the Federal Mechanism for the Protection of Journalists ever since a severed human head was left outside the newspaper in December 2018.
A few hours after De la Cruz’s murder, the Special Prosecutor’s Office for Crimes against Freedom of Expression (FEADLE) announced that it was opening a federal investigation and requested access to the information gathered by those handling the investigation in Tamaulipas. A strong signal, as investigations into the murder of journalists are normally the responsibility of local prosecutors.
At least nine of the 12 journalists murdered in Mexico in 2022 have been killed in direct connection with their work.