Mexican Journalist Who Told Country’s President She Feared for Her Life Is Killed

Lourdes Maldonado,

a perfectly-known nearby tv personality who labored for numerous media stores in Tijuana, was shot in her car by unknown assailants as she arrived residence Sunday night time, according to regional authorities.

Almost three a long time ago, she explained to Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador that she feared for her lifetime because of a labor dispute that associated a top rated ruling get together politician. Previous year, she entered a governing administration journalist protection method.

Ms. Maldonado, 68 decades aged, was the second journalist killed in Tijuana in the earlier 7 days and the third this thirty day period in the nation. Margarito Martinez, a photojournalist who protected the police beat in Tijuana, was gunned down exterior his home on Jan. 17.

José Luis Gamboa,

a reporter in the Gulf Coastline point out of Veracruz, the most violent point out for journalists in Mexico, was stabbed to dying previously this thirty day period. None of the killings have been solved.

Journalists held up photos of photojournalist Margarito Martinez, who was gunned down outdoors his dwelling before this thirty day period in Tijuana.



Image:

JORGE DUENES/REUTERS

“It’s really sad what occurred in Tijuana. It hurts a lot,” Mr. López Obrador said at a every day news conference. Mr. López Obrador promised a full investigation, but blamed the country’s large degree of violence on the “social decomposition” he attributed to the “neoliberal” financial guidelines of preceding governments.

In this situation, on the other hand, the target had publicly warned she was in danger from a impressive politician from the president’s ruling Morena celebration.

In March 2019, Ms. Maldonado attended Mr. López Obrador’s day by day news conference to ask for his enable, stating she feared for her lifetime simply because of a labor dispute with a television organization she stated unfairly fired her a long time before, without paying correct payment. The media business, Primer Sistema de Noticias, is owned by

Jaime Bonilla,

then the ruling get together applicant for governor of Baja California, where Tijuana is found. Mr. Bonilla gained a shortened term as governor, has given that still left office, and continue to owns the media organization.

“I’m here to ask for help since this consists of a senator on leave…and your candidate for the governor’s race in Baja California, Mr. Jaime Bonilla. Which is why I’m here, asking for your support,” she reported at the time, according to transcripts of the trade. The president asked his spokesman to glimpse into the difficulty.

‘I really do not think the president has carried out anything to strengthen prosecutors or police to halt murders.’


— Jan-Albert Hootsen, Mexico representative for the Committee to Secure Journalists

In an job interview he posted on the internet Monday, Mr. Bonilla instructed Mexico’s Radio Components that he had never threatened Ms. Maldonado and experienced absolutely nothing to do with her dying. “I’m guaranteed the authorities will soon obtain those responsible,” he said.

Final week, Ms. Maldonado’s deal dispute was solved in her favor by a federal labor court, which ordered an embargo on various property of the media enterprise in order to fork out Ms. Maldonado, in accordance to nearby media stories and friends of the reporter.

Mr. López Obrador explained his government would investigate the crime, but he urged folks not to leap to conclusions. “One can’t instantly link a labor dispute to a criminal offense,” he reported.

In the earlier three many years, 32 journalists have been murdered in Mexico, producing it the most harmful country in the Western Hemisphere for journalists, in accordance to the Committee to Safeguard Journalists, an intercontinental advocacy team. It has identified that 13 of the Mexican journalists ended up killed for factors related to their perform.

About 95% of the journalists’ killings, even so, go unpunished, mentioned

Jan-Albert Hootsen,

the organization’s Mexico representative.

“This seems to be a prison underworld execution-model killing,” Mr. Hootsen said of the slaying of Ms. Maldonado. Her killing was similar to that of Mr. Martinez, who was also shot outside the house of his home. The photojournalist had, like Ms. Maldonado, acquired threats.

Scores of Mexican journalists mentioned on social media they have been planning a national protest Tuesday in towns throughout Mexico, putting on black in honor of their slain colleagues. Journalists in Chilpancingo, the funds of Guerrero point out, held a small protest at a toll booth along the Mexico City-Acapulco freeway on Monday to protest the Tijuana killings.

Mexican journalists, quite a few donning black, marched on the streets or collected in plazas of cities in far more than two dozen Mexican states Tuesday to protest the death of their three colleagues.

Stéphane Dujarric,

spokesman for the U.N. secretary-basic, on Monday condemned Ms. Maldonado’s killing. “We get in touch with on Mexican authorities to reinforce the defense of journalists, in certain to choose additional techniques to reduce attacks on them, which includes by tackling threats and slurs aimed at them,” he mentioned at a news briefing.

The U.S. also condemned the killing. “We are alarmed by the murder of Lourdes Maldonado Lopez the 3rd journalist murdered in Mexico so far this year. We stand in aid of all Mexican journalists,” wrote Brian Nichols, the senior state division formal for Latin America, retweeting a translation of a Monday tweet from the U.S. Embassy.

Whilst journalists and other people have pressed Mr. López Obrador’s governing administration to guard reporters, activists say he has finished minimal to increase the situation. The president has repeatedly blamed all round criminal violence on no cost-market procedures of previous governments.

“It should not be about ideology,” Mr. Hootsen said. “It’s about carrying out audio general public policy. I really don’t think the president has finished anything to reinforce prosecutors or law enforcement to prevent murders.”

The most recent taking pictures stunned journalists and residents in Tijuana, which is throughout the border from San Diego, Calif. “Impunity is expanding at a terrible velocity,” mentioned

Aline Corpus,

a nearby reporter who knew Ms. Maldonado. “I’ve never ever observed such fury, and in so numerous locations.”

At the time of her demise, Ms. Maldonado, a journalist for more than four decades, experienced an on-line system in which she talked about latest situations ranging from local politics to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Footage exhibiting armed and masked guys distributing assist to poor communities in Mexico throughout the coronavirus pandemic has been broadly shared on social media. WSJ’s Jose de Cordoba analyzed the visuals to understand how a new variety of “cartel philanthropy” is challenging the govt. (At first published May perhaps 2020)

The other slain journalist, Mr. Martínez, 49, was remembered by colleagues as a committed photographer who would listen to law enforcement radio and demonstrate up at shootings and fires, in some cases even arriving right before authorities. Right after getting images, he would narrate the occasions on a Fb channel. He also labored as a fixer for international reporters who visited Tijuana, Ms. Corpus explained.

Homicides in Baja California condition, exactly where Tijuana is the biggest city, have risen sharply in current years, exceeding 3,000 or 82 for each 100,000 inhabitants final yr, according to official reviews.

“Tijuana is the most violent town in Mexico,” reported Eduardo Guerrero, a safety analyst in Mexico Town.

Two of Mexico’s most impressive prison companies, the Sinaloa Cartel and the Jalisco New Generation Cartel, are vying for dominance in Tijuana, which is a major point of entry for medication into the U.S. There are also many other criminal gangs running there, Mr. Guerrero mentioned.

Publish to José de Córdoba at [email protected]

Corrections & Amplifications
Margarito Martinez was gunned down outdoors his property on Jan. 17. An earlier model of this post incorrectly recognized him as Margarito López Esquivel in the tale and a photo caption. (Corrected on January 25, 2022.)

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