News

September 20, 2016

Mexico: Two Mexican journalists murdered in space of three days

Mexican journalists pose with photos of killed journalists outside the Veracruz state representation office during a protest in Mexico City on February 11, 2016 (Source: AFP)
Two more Mexican journalists were slain last week, bringing the number of media personnel murdered in Mexico since the start of the year to 12. Reporters Without Borders (RSF) sounds the alarms and urges the local authorities to quickly identify those behind these murders.

The latest victim was Aurelio Cabrera Campos, the founder and editor of the local news weekly El Gráfico de la Sierra, who was shot several times on the night of 14 September while driving home on the Mexico City-Tuxpan road in Huauchinango (in the central state of Puebla). He died of his injuries a few hours later in hospital.


The police are investigating the killing but have so far reported nothing about the motive or identity of the perpetrators. Speaking shortly after the murder, a friend, Pablo Estrada, the editor of the newspaper El Caminante, said Cabrera had told him that he had received “death threats, like all journalists.”


Members of his family told RSF they felt in danger and had requested immediate protection for themselves and the other persons working for his newspaper.


“The danger is real and serious because the authorities have not told us who ordered his murder and for what reason,” one said. “We are convinced that it was because of his journalistic work. In recent months he published reports about abductions and murders in the Sierra Norte de Puebla.”


Radio journalist Agustín Pavia was gunned down as he was getting out of his car outside his home in Huajuapan de León (in the southern state Oaxaca) on the night of 12 September.


The host of the political programme “Forum” for community radio Tu Un Ñuu Savi, he often criticized the Oaxaca state government’s policies on the air. He was also a human rights lawyer and member of the MORENA political party.


Mexico is in the process of turning into a cemetery for journalists,” said Emmanuel Colombié, the head of RSF’s Latin America desk. “The local and national authorities must urgently overhaul the alert and protection mechanisms for journalists and must give the police and judicial authorities the resources they need to quickly and systematically identify those behind these murders.

12
Journalists killed in Mexico since the start of the year

Another Tu Un Ñuu Savi radio presenter was killed in Huajuapan de León on 26 June. The host of the programme “Pitaya Negra,” Salvador García Olmos was run down by a municipal police car as he was trying to escape from other members of the same police force who were arresting him. An investigation into his death has yet to report its findings.


With the latest murders, Mexico is now the world’s most dangerous country for journalists. It is ranked 149th out of 180 countries in RSF’s 2016 World Press Freedom Index.