Journalist slain in Nuevo Laredo, first this year in Mexico

Fearing a new wave of a violence in what is an election year in Mexico, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) calls for a swift investigation into the murder of Carlos Domínguez Rodríguez, a veteran journalist who was stabbed to death in broad daylight in the centre of Nuevo Laredo, a border town in the northeastern state of Tamaulipas, on 13 January

Masked men dragged Domínguez from the car in which he was travelling and stabbed him repeatedly. He was the first journalist to be murdered this year in Mexico.

A politically committed reporter and columnist for the Noreste Digital and Horizonte de Matamoros news websites, he had been a journalist for nearly 40 years and had always been very critical of the local authorities. Colleagues reached by RSF paid tribute to his independence and dedication.

In recent years, he had been very critical of former Nuevo Laredo mayor Carlos Cantú Rosas and the current mayor of the nearby city of San Nicolás, Verónica Castellanos. His articles also often criticized the frequent kidnappings and the increase in organized crime violence in Nuevo Laredo.

On the eve of his murder, he wrote an impassioned editorial headlined, “Mexico shaken by election period violence,” in which he denounced the failures of the federal government’s security policies and the past 18 years of impunity. He also accused the mayor of San Nicolás of “turning on journalists who criticize her enormous shortcomings.”

It is alarming to see that, for Mexico’s journalists, 2018 is beginning as badly as 2017 ended,” said Emmanuel Colombié, the head of RSF’s Latin America bureau. “Mexico must not continue to be the world’s second deadliest country for the media in 2018. This latest murder must be the subject of an immediate and independent investigation.

“Furthermore, as already promised last year, the Mexican government must redouble efforts to guarantee the safety of journalists and to reinforce the existing protection mechanisms. This undertaking is all the more important because Mexico is holding elections this year, a period when the media are traditionally targeted.

Domínguez’s colleagues are convinced that his murder is linked to his journalistic work. A few hours after the stabbing, Tamaulipas governor Francisco García Cabeza de Vaca issued a statement condemning the murder and promising that it would not go unpunished.

At least 11 journalists were murdered in a direct connection with their journalistic work in Mexico in 2017, making Mexico the world’s second deadliest country for media personnel (after Syria). Mexico is ranked 147th out of 180 countries in RSF's 2017 World Press Freedom Index.

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Updated on 17.01.2018