On Monday, two journalists were murdered in Mexico, increasing the total number of media professionals who have lost their lives this year to 11.
According to the attorney general’s office for the state of Veracruz, the most recent victims, director Yessenia Mollinedo Falconi and reporter Sheila Johana Garcia Olivera of the online news site El Veraz, were killed in a shooting in the state of Veracruz along the Gulf of Mexico. Both women worked for El Veraz.
A tweet published by the office on Monday states that the State Attorney General, Veronica Hernandez Giadans, promises that there will be no impunity and that all channels of inquiry will be examined.
A statement made by the office assures that a probe into the deaths has been initiated.
According to the State Commission for Attention to and Protection of Journalists, the two were assaulted outside a convenience shop. This information was provided to the Associated Press.
On Monday evening, a large group of journalists gathered at the Angel of Independence monument in Mexico City to bring attention to the deaths of their colleagues that had occurred over the year. Luis Enrique Ramirez, a journalist for Espejo magazine, was discovered dead of a gunshot wound. He had other injuries, as well, including blows to the head. Witnesses say they saw Ramirez being forced into a white van. His body was found on a dirt road, the statement said. The discovery was made on Thursday of last week in the city of Culiacan. He was wrapped in black plastic.
Nine journalists were slain in Mexico in 2018, making it the worst year on record for its journalists.
Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, the current president of Mexico, has used strong words against domestic and international media outlets, aggressively abusing journalists for their coverage. According to the Associated Press’s story, he has referred to them as “thugs, mercenaries, and sellouts” in the past.
On April 15th, 2019, Obrador said, “If you go too far, you know what will happen.” This was a message for journalists.
The next day, López Obrador amended his words, stating he meant that the public would hold journalists who unfairly attack the administration accountable. His remarks, however, were harshly condemned in a country where journalists are murdered with impunity.
The leftist Mexican president has a deep distrust of some news outlets. As the body count of Mexican journalists mounts, one wonders who is responsible for this.