Mexican journalist Ignacio Domínguez and his family were awakened on 2 September by the sounds of gunshots.
When they got up, they found holes in the walls of their home in Xalapa, the capital of the eastern state of Veracruz, and the head of a pig outside their front door along with a message threatening Domínguez, who edits the newspaper Tinta Verde.
Domínguez notified the authorities, who immediately sent police investigators but no clue has so far been found to the identity of those responsible for this act of intimidation, which resembles those widely used by Mexico’s drug traffickers.
Tinta Verde is a weekly specializing in farming in Veracruz state. It may sometimes criticize certain government policies but, according to Domínguez, it does not cover crime or other sensitive subjects.
He nonetheless said that the parliamentarian Edgar Días Fuentes threatened him during a National Peasant Confederation congress in Guadalajara on 28 August in connection with a series of articles that Tinta Verde had published.
“The threatening nature of the message left for Domínguez couldn’t have been clearer,” said Camille Soulier, the head of the Reporters Without Borders Americas desk.
“The authorities must not rule out the possibility that this was linked to his work as a journalist. We call on the federal authorities to take over the investigation. We also call for immediate protection for Domínguez and his family.”
At least seven journalists have been murdered in Mexico since the start of the year. The latest media victim was Victor Pérez Pérez of the magazine Sucesos, who was shot six times by gunmen outside his home in the northern border state of Chihuahua on 2 September.
The preceding victim was Adrián Gaona Belmonte, who worked for Radio La Caliente in Reynosa, in the state of Tamaulipas. Police found his body on 13 August. As all of his documents had been taken, his family had to identify the body. The police still have no clue as to the identity or motive of his murderers.
Ranked 152nd out of 180 countries in the 2014 Reporters Without Borders press freedom index.