3 Killed In Deadly Week For Journalists In Mexico

By Rodrigo Cervantes
Published: Tuesday, August 6, 2019 - 5:04pm
Updated: Wednesday, August 7, 2019 - 10:28am

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Rodrigo Cervantes/KJZZ
Jan-Albert Hootsen, representative in Mexico for the Committee to Protect Journalists, speaks at an event in Mexico City.

MEXICO CITY — In less than a week, three journalists were killed in Mexico. According to the international nonprofit Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) Mexico is only one homicide away from having the deadliest year for journalism in its history. 

Reporter Jorge Ruiz was murdered in the state of Veracruz on Aug. 2. That same day, editor Edgar Navas was shot in the state of Guerrero. The previous Tuesday, journalist Rogelio Barragán was found dead in the state of Morelos.

"This is a continuation and exacerbation of crime, violence and impunity plaguing journalism in Mexico,” said Jan-Albert Hootsen, the Mexico representative for the CPJ.

Hootsen said the recent killings follow a pattern among murdered journalists in Mexico: they work in small, local publications or personal websites reporting about crime and government.

According to Hootsen, the state is not fully committed to protecting the press, and sometimes it has colluded on attacks against journalists on local levels.

“It also seems like the presidency [of Andrés Manuel Lépez Obrador] doesn’t really care about press freedom, and I think that’s pretty disconcerting,” Hootsen said.

While Hootsen agrees that with López Obrador that you can’t end crime and impunity in eight months, he thinks the president has not taken any significant steps to improving security toward journalists.

“There aren’t any significant steps towards combating impunity and providing better security for journalists, it’s just not there, and it’s something that mister López Obrador promised when he assumed office in December,” Hootsen said.

The activist said there’s an escalating problem of violence in Mexico, but also a growing negative rhetoric from local governments against the press.

Mexico tops the CPJ’s list of murdered journalists this year with 10, followed by Colombia, Syria and Afghanistan — all with two.

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