Last week’s abductions in Mexico followed by shooting attacks on four reporters
Reporters Without Borders (RSF) is stunned to learn that last week’s abductions of journalists in southern Mexico’s Guerrero state were followed on 28 November by a shooting attack on three reporters in the same state and another on a reporter in neighbouring Michoacán state, with the result that in just ten days in Mexico, three journalists were abducted and four sustained gunshot injuries
The targets of 28 November’s first shooting were Víctor Mateo of the regional news site Ahora Guerrero, Oscar Guerrero of Primer Plano and Jesús de la Cruz of Diario Objetivo, who came under fire in Chilpancingo, the Guerrero state capital, as they were returning together from covering a murder that had taken place that morning. A fourth journalist from a local media outlet, who wishes to remain anonymous for security reasons, was unharmed.
RSF has learned that unidentified gunmen opened fire on their car in broad daylight near a military barracks. After being treated at the scene by first responders, the three journalists were hospitalised with gunshots injuries to an arm, a jaw and a chest. According to RSF’s latest information, their condition is stable.
Around eight hours later, shots were fired at Maynor Ramón Ramírez Arroyo, a reporter for the ABC de Michoacán regional daily, outside a shop he owns in Apatzingán, in the neighbouring state of Michoacán. Ramírez, who was hospitalised with the injuries he sustained in this shooting, was previously the target of an attack in 2016, when he sustained a gunshot injury to the head.
The three journalists kidnapped last week in Guerrero state were Marco Antonio Toledo, Silvia Nayssa Acre and Alberto Sánchez. Abducted by gunmen in two raids three days apart in the city of Taxco, they were all released on 25 November.
We call on the authorities in the states of Guerrero and Michoacán to investigate these serious incidents and to guarantee the safety of journalists and their families. We also call on the Federal Mechanism for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders and Journalists to urgently follow up these cases. This series of attacks in just ten days clearly shows how, outside of war zones, Mexico is today the world’s most dangerous country for journalism. Strategies for combatting the alarming violence against the media, which mostly goes unpunished, must have a central place in the programmes of Mexico's presidential candidates in June 2024.
The four reporters targeted in this week’s shooting attacks mainly cover crime stories, known in Mexico as “nota roja” or “policíaca.” It is journalists who cover such subjects that are often the targets of violence.