News

August 3, 2020

Journalist and bodyguard gunned down in southern Mexico

Reporters Without Borders (RSF) calls for a thorough investigation into yesterday’s double murder of a journalist and his police bodyguard in southwestern Mexico. The editor of a news website specializing in covering crime, Pablo Morrugares was the fourth journalist to be murdered since the start of the year in Mexico.

Pablo Morrugares, the target of death threats since 2015, and the state-appointed police officer providing him with protection were gunned down in cold blood by heavily-armed men who burst into a restaurant at around 1 a.m. on 2 August in Iguala, a city in the state of Guerrero.

 

The editor of the PM Noticias news website, Morrugares concentrated on doing investigative reporting into the activities of criminal groups in the region. His latest stories included one about the provisional detention of two murders suspects and one about an ambush of police officers by a criminal group.

 

We urge the authorities to conduct an exhaustive investigation into the murder of the journalist Pablo Morrugares and his bodyguard,” said Emmanuel Colombié, the head of RSF’s Latin America bureau. “It is essential that the authorities prosecute those responsible for this double murder and combat impunity for this kind of crime, which fuels violence against journalists in Mexico.”

 

Morrugares was the second journalist to be murdered this year in Guerrero state, following Víctor Fernando Álvarez Chávez, who disappeared on 1 April and whose death was confirmed by the state prosecutor ten days later.

 

The other two journalists to be murdered this year in Mexico were María Elena Ferral Hernández, who was gunned down in the eastern state of Veracruz on 30 March, and Jorge Miguel Armenta Ávalos, gunned down in the northwestern state of Sonora on 16 May. Armenta was also receiving police protection.

 

A total of ten journalists were killed in connection with their work last year in Mexico, one of the world’s most dangerous countries for media personnel.

 

Mexico is ranked 143rd out of 180 countries and territories in RSF's 2020 World Press Freedom Index.