July 1, 2022

a journalist murdered in Tijuana

This is the second murder of a media professional in a week in Tijuana. A journalist was “murdered”, Sunday January 23, in this city of the North-West of Mexico located at the border of the United States, announced the regional parquet floor. Collaborator of several Mexican publications, photographer Margarito Martinez was killed on Monday January 17 near his home, also in Tijuana.

Read also Mexico: a photojournalist assassinated a week after the murder of a former journalist

Lourdes Maldonado Lopez was killed by “firearm while in a vehicle”, said the general prosecutor’s office of the State of Baja California. Shots were heard around 6:20 p.m. (3:20 a.m. in Paris), the newspaper reported. Zeta Tijuana. An investigation has been opened.

This journalist had worked as a correspondent for a Mexican media in Tijuana in the years 1990. She then worked for several media, including First News System (PSN) led by Jaime Bonilla, governor of the state of Baja California from 2019 to the end of 2021, within a coalition integrating the presidential party Morena.

Read the survey: Article reserved for our subscribers “Project Cartel”: in Mexico, silence or death for journalists

“We fear for my life”

Mme Lopez had won a lawsuit a few days ago against PSN, whom she had been suing for nine years for unfair dismissal, had reported the Mexican press. The journalist had asked two or three years ago the President of the Republic, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, “support, help and justice because they fear for my life”, according to a video reposted on social networks at the announcement of his assassination.

“I have been on trial for six years with [Jaime Bonilla] », she declared there, calling on the head of state during one of his press conferences. The president had sent her back to his “social communication coordinator” (spokesperson) for “that he [l]help and [l]support, so that we seek justice, so that there is no abuse of power”.

The delegate of the non-governmental organization Reporters Without Borders (RSF) in Mexico, Balbina Flores, told Agence France-Presse that it remained to be confirmed whether Mme Maldonado had official protection. She called on the authorities to investigate fully and transparently.

The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ, an association in 1981, based in the United States, whose objective is to observe abuses against the press and promote press freedom throughout the world) declared itself “shocked” by this latest assassination, and also called on the authorities to“investigate thoroughly and transparently”. Most murders of journalists remain unsolved.

Exposed to retaliation from drug cartels

At least seven journalists were killed in 2021, according to a count by Agence France-Presse, which tries each time to establish whether the victim was still active and whether his journalistic work cost him his life.

This is the case for a man presented as a journalist, José Luis Gamboa, found stabbed to death on January 10 in the state of Veracruz (Southeast), several sources said on Monday. Reporters Without Borders, according to whom “Gamboa had denounced and strongly criticized the local authorities for their relationship with organized crime”, and the CPJ asked investigators to take into account his status as a journalist.

Mexico is considered one of the most dangerous countries in the world for journalists, exposed to reprisals from drug cartels operating in several of the country’s 32 states. According to figures from the Human Rights Commission, around 100 journalists have been killed since 2000.

Read also Article reserved for our subscribers An “alarming decline in fundamental freedoms” in Latin America

The World with AFP