Tuesday 20 February 2018

In Mexico, impunity piles up along with journalists' bodies

In Mexico, impunity piles up along with journalists' bodies
(AFP 08/23/17)

It can be deadly to ask questions about multibillion-dollar drug cartels or government corruption in Mexico, where more than 100 journalists have been killed since 2006.

Ninety percent of those cases remain unsolved.

At least 10 journalists have been killed here so far this year:

1. Cecilio Pineda, 39

Pineda, the editor of regional newspaper La Voz, was shot by gunmen on March 2 as he relaxed in a hammock near his house in the southern state of Guerrero.

A crime reporter and correspondent for national newspaper El Universal, he had received death threats and escaped an earlier attempt on his life in 2015.

2. Ricardo Monlui, 57

Monlui, the editor of daily newspaper El Politico, was shot on March 19 as he left a restaurant with his wife and son in the eastern state of Veracruz.

An expert on the state's graft-stained politics, he also wrote a syndicated column.

3. Miroslava Breach, 54

Breach, a veteran crime and politics reporter for the newspapers La Jornada and Norte de Juarez, was found dead inside her car with gunshot wounds to the head on March 23 in the northern state of Chihuahua.

One of her last stories was on a war between two rival capos in the Juarez drug cartel.

4. Maximino Rodriguez, 71

Rodriguez, a crime reporter with the blog Colectivo Pericu, was shot as he and his wife parked their car outside a store on April 14 in the northern state of Baja California Sur.

The authorities arrested four suspects and said the motive for the killing was Rodriguez's journalism.

5. Javier Valdez, 50

Valdez, the founder of weekly newspaper Riodoce, a longtime AFP contributor and the award-winning author of several books on organized crime, was shot outside his paper's offices on May 15.

He had recently been reporting on a war between rival factions of the Sinaloa cartel since its boss, Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman, was extradited to the United States in January.

6. Jonathan Rodriguez, 26

Rodriguez was shot in his car by five gunmen on May 15 in the western state of Jalisco. His mother, who was also in the car, was badly wounded.

Both worked at weekly newspaper El Costeno, where Rodriguez's father is editor in chief. Rodriguez was only an occasional contributor, and it is unclear whether his journalism played a part in his killing.

7. Salvador Adame, 44

Adame, the owner of local TV station Canal 6 in the western state of Michoacan, was kidnapped by gunmen on May 18. Police announced on June 26 they had found his charred body dumped along a road.

According to a colleague, he had been investigating alleged links between organized crime and local authorities. Prosecutors say he was murdered on the orders of crime boss Feliciano Ledezma Ramirez, known as "El Chano Pena."

8. Edwin Rivera, 28

Rivera, a Honduran TV news cameraman, had sought asylum in Mexico after a close colleague was murdered in Honduras.

He was followed by gunmen and shot dead on July 9 in the eastern state of Veracruz.

9. Luciano Rivera, 33

Rivera was killed at a bar in the resort town of Playas de Rosarito, in the northern state of Baja California, on July 31.

Authorities initially described his death as the product of a barroom brawl. But colleagues later said the men who killed Rivera arrived at the bar looking for him, and urged authorities to investigate whether he was assassinated for his reporting.

10. Candido Rios, 55

Rios was gunned down Tuesday along with two other people outside a convenience store in Veracruz, one of the most violent states for journalists.

The hard-hitting political reporter had been under government protection, after receiving death threats following a series of exposes on local government corruption in the newspaper Diario de Acayucan.

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