RSF also calls on the authorities in Tepic to concentrate on the hypothesis that Jesús Alejandro Márquez Jiménez, the founder and editor of the news website Orión Informativo and a former reporter for the local newspaper Crítica, was killed in connection with his journalism.
Márquez’s bullet-riddled body was found at a roadside a few hours his family reported him missing on the afternoon of 1 December. The body was formally identified yesterday.
In articles posted on his news site, Márquez was very outspoken and specific in his criticism of the links between organized crime and local officials and politicians in the state of Nayarit.
He was also involved with a political party, the Movement for National Regeneration (MORENA), in the city of Tuxpan, where he recently offered to run as a MORENA candidate for municipal councillor. RSF has learned that a defamation suit was brought against him six months ago by officials in the neighbouring municipality of Tecuala.
“The Nayarit authorities must conduct an exhaustive investigation into this case and must prioritize the hypothesis that the victim was killed in connection with his work as a journalist,” said Emmanuel Colombié, the head of RSF’s Latin America bureau.
“This latest murder, on the very day that President López Obrador was being sworn in, speaks yet again to the urgent need for Mexico’s federal authorities to completely rethink and overhaul the system for protecting journalists throughout the country.”
The new president has pledged to combat corruption, and most of the journalists murdered in Mexico were investigating collusion between local politicians and organized crime.
At least nine journalists have been killed in Mexico in connection with their journalistic work so far in 2018. Two journalists, Rodrigo Acuña Morales in Veracruz and Ana Ledesma in Quintana Roo, miraculously survived murder attempts last month.
Mexico is ranked 147th out of 180 countries in RSF’s 2018 World Press Freedom Index.