By a cruel irony, Jesús Adrián Rodríguez Samaniego was gunned on 10 December, Human Rights Day. He was setting off from home to go to work when gunmen drove by and shot him several times, killing him on the spot.
Rodríguez had been a journalist with various media outlets for more than 15 years and was working for Radio Antena 760 AM at the time of his death, covering the Chihuahua state government. He had recently been a crime reporter for the El Heraldo de Chihuahua newspaper.
In the days immediately prior to his death, he had been investigating a sensitive story about a presumed error of justice and the alleged involvement of justice ministry officials in acts of torture carried out in prison.
“We are deeply shocked by this latest murder and offer our full support to Adrián Rodríguez’s family and fellow journalists,” said Emmanuel Colombié, the head of RSF’s Latin America desk.
“After what has been a terrible year for the safety of journalists in Mexico, it is time that reliable protective mechanisms were established in what is one of the world’s most violent countries, one in which the media are systematically targeted whenever they take an interest in corruption or organized crime.”
Ricardo Boone Salmón, the head of GRD Multimedia, the group that owns Antena 760 AM, said Rodríguez has not received any specific threats prior to his murder.
The police said they were actively considering the possibility that Rodríguez was killed in connection with his journalism. They also reported that they had already made some initial arrests.
His death brought the number of journalists murdered this year in Mexico to 13, of whom at least nine were killed in direct connection with their work.
Mexico is ranked 149th out of 180 countries in RSF’s 2016 World Press Freedom Index.