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

Lourdes Maldonado,

a properly-recognized area television personality who labored for several media retailers in Tijuana, was shot in her automobile by unfamiliar assailants as she arrived home Sunday night time, according to community authorities.

Approximately a few many years back, she advised Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador that she feared for her everyday living for the reason that of a labor dispute that concerned a major ruling party politician. Previous year, she entered a govt journalist protection application.

Ms. Maldonado, 68 several years aged, was the next journalist killed in Tijuana in the past 7 days and the third this month in the place. Margarito Martinez, a photojournalist who covered the police beat in Tijuana, was gunned down outside the house his household on Jan. 17.

José Luis Gamboa,

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

Journalists held up images of photojournalist Margarito Martinez, who was gunned down exterior his house earlier this month in Tijuana.



Image:

JORGE DUENES/REUTERS

“It’s incredibly unhappy what took place in Tijuana. It hurts a whole lot,” Mr. López Obrador reported at a each day news conference. Mr. López Obrador promised a total investigation, but blamed the country’s substantial amount of violence on the “social decomposition” he attributed to the “neoliberal” financial policies of past governments.

In this situation, even so, the target experienced publicly warned she was in threat from a strong politician from the president’s ruling Morena bash.

In March 2019, Ms. Maldonado attended Mr. López Obrador’s daily news conference to question for his support, indicating she feared for her life for the reason that of a labor dispute with a television corporation she claimed unfairly fired her years previously, without the need of spending right payment. The media firm, Primer Sistema de Noticias, is owned by

Jaime Bonilla,

then the ruling party candidate for governor of Baja California, the place Tijuana is located. Mr. Bonilla gained a shortened phrase as governor, has since remaining place of work, and however owns the media firm.

“I’m here to ask for enable since this includes a senator on leave…and your applicant for the governor’s race in Baja California, Mr. Jaime Bonilla. That is why I’m below, inquiring for your assistance,” she reported at the time, according to transcripts of the exchange. The president questioned his spokesman to glance into the problem.

‘I do not believe the president has performed anything to improve prosecutors or law enforcement to cease murders.’


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

In an interview he posted on line Monday, Mr. Bonilla explained to Mexico’s Radio Formulation that he had by no means threatened Ms. Maldonado and experienced absolutely nothing to do with her loss of life. “I’m positive the authorities will quickly obtain those people accountable,” he claimed.

Very last 7 days, Ms. Maldonado’s deal dispute was fixed in her favor by a federal labor court, which ordered an embargo on numerous assets of the media corporation in buy to pay out Ms. Maldonado, in accordance to regional media experiences and pals of the reporter.

Mr. López Obrador said his govt would examine the crime, but he urged men and women not to leap to conclusions. “One can’t automatically link a labor dispute to a criminal offense,” he reported.

In the previous a few years, 32 journalists have been murdered in Mexico, making it the most unsafe state in the Western Hemisphere for journalists, according to the Committee to Safeguard Journalists, an global advocacy team. It has identified that 13 of the Mexican journalists were killed for factors related to their perform.

About 95% of the journalists’ killings, nevertheless, go unpunished, explained

Jan-Albert Hootsen,

the organization’s Mexico agent.

“This seems to be a felony underworld execution-type killing,” Mr. Hootsen stated of the slaying of Ms. Maldonado. Her killing was equivalent to that of Mr. Martinez, who was also shot exterior of his property. The photojournalist had, like Ms. Maldonado, been given threats.

Scores of Mexican journalists mentioned on social media they were being setting up a nationwide protest Tuesday in metropolitan areas across Mexico, putting on black in honor of their slain colleagues. Journalists in Chilpancingo, the money of Guerrero point out, held a small protest at a toll booth alongside the Mexico Town-Acapulco freeway on Monday to protest the Tijuana killings.

Mexican journalists, lots of carrying black, marched on the streets or collected in plazas of cities in much more than two dozen Mexican states Tuesday to protest the loss of life of their 3 colleagues.

Stéphane Dujarric,

spokesman for the U.N. secretary-standard, on Monday condemned Ms. Maldonado’s killing. “We contact on Mexican authorities to bolster the defense of journalists, in specific to take even more actions to stop attacks on them, which includes by tackling threats and slurs aimed at them,” he stated at a information briefing.

The U.S. also condemned the killing. “We are alarmed by the murder of Lourdes Maldonado Lopez the third journalist murdered in Mexico so considerably this calendar year. We stand in assist of all Mexican journalists,” wrote Brian Nichols, the senior state office formal for Latin The united states, retweeting a translation of a Monday tweet from the U.S. Embassy.

Although journalists and other folks have pressed Mr. López Obrador’s authorities to safeguard reporters, activists say he has completed very little to boost the problem. The president has repeatedly blamed overall prison violence on totally free-market guidelines of past governments.

“It should not be about ideology,” Mr. Hootsen claimed. “It’s about carrying out sound general public policy. I really do not think the president has finished everything to bolster prosecutors or police to halt murders.”

The latest capturing surprised journalists and citizens in Tijuana, which is throughout the border from San Diego, Calif. “Impunity is expanding at a awful speed,” reported

Aline Corpus,

a regional reporter who knew Ms. Maldonado. “I’ve by no means seen such fury, and in so many sites.”

At the time of her death, Ms. Maldonado, a journalist for extra than 4 many years, experienced an on the web plan in which she discussed present occasions ranging from neighborhood politics to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Footage demonstrating armed and masked gentlemen distributing help to bad communities in Mexico all through the coronavirus pandemic has been broadly shared on social media. WSJ’s Jose de Cordoba analyzed the photos to have an understanding of how a new sort of “cartel philanthropy” is hard the govt. (At first posted May possibly 2020)

The other slain journalist, Mr. Martínez, 49, was remembered by colleagues as a committed photographer who would pay attention to law enforcement radio and demonstrate up at shootings and fires, from time to time even arriving before authorities. Just after getting pictures, he would narrate the events on a Fb channel. He also worked as a fixer for overseas reporters who visited Tijuana, Ms. Corpus stated.

Homicides in Baja California condition, the place Tijuana is the most significant town, have risen sharply in current many years, exceeding 3,000 or 82 per 100,000 inhabitants previous calendar year, according to formal studies.

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

Two of Mexico’s most effective criminal corporations, the Sinaloa Cartel and the Jalisco New Generation Cartel, are vying for dominance in Tijuana, which is a important point of entry for medicines into the U.S. There are also several other prison gangs operating there, Mr. Guerrero mentioned.

Publish to José de Córdoba at [email protected]

Corrections & Amplifications
Margarito Martinez was gunned down outside the house his home on Jan. 17. An earlier version of this report incorrectly recognized him as Margarito López Esquivel in the story and a image caption. (Corrected on January 25, 2022.)

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