As reported by the LA Times, attackers burst into an elementary school where a Christmas party was taking place and shot reporter Gumaro Perez to death Tuesday, making him at least the 10th journalist slain in Mexico this year in what observers have called a crisis of freedom of expression.
The Veracruz state security coordinator said in a statement that dozens of parents and children were present when the unidentified attackers shot Perez, whose own child attends the school in the city of Acayucan.
Perez, 34, covered crime for a number of local outlets, had founded the online news site La Voz del Sur and also worked for the local government in some capacity.
He was part of a state program designed to protect journalists as they carry out certain “high-risk” coverage, separate from a federal government program known as “the mechanism” that offers reporters measures like panic buttons on their cellphones and home security.
“He belonged to the preventive program for safe coverage of this Commission since 2015, which refers to mechanisms for reporting that diminish danger in high-risk events,” the Veracruz State Commission for Attention and Protection of Journalists said in a statement. “Nevertheless, regrettably, he had not made us aware of having received any threats that could have put him at risk.”
Commission president Ana Laura Vazquez said the group would monitor the investigation and urged the government of the gulf coast state to bring his killers to justice.
Adelina Mendoza, Perez’s widow, said in an interview published by the local branch of the online news outlet E-Consulta that for the last year she had begged him to leave journalism and open a restaurant with her, but he refused.
She told E-Veracruz.mx that Perez arrived on time at the holiday party Tuesday and planned to keep their son company so she could leave early.
While Perez remained indoors, “I went outside and my son went out of the room with his little friends,” Mendoza was quoted as saying. “I hugged him, I gave him a kiss because I was leaving, and right then I heard the gunshots. But I thought they were fireworks that some child had brought.
“God knows how to do things, because my son never saw his father die,” she said.
Gov. Miguel Angel Yunes condemned the shooting and said he ordered state police to provide protection to the journalist’s family.
U.S. Ambassador to Mexico Roberta Jacobson wrote on Twitter that she was offended by Perez’s death at the hands of “cowardly killers.”
“The truth cannot be killed by killing journalists,” Jacobson tweeted.
Source: LA Times
more recommended stories
Amidst pandemic, Chichén Itzá is the second most visited archaeological site in Mexico
In the last four months of.
Maya Train construction causes partial closure of the Merida-Cancun highway
For tens of kilometers, vehicles must.
Party with over 50 people shut down by police in Kanasín, Yuc.
The party was held on the.
Archaeological sites in Yucatan operating during Covid-19 pandemic
After the first coronavirus outbreaks, the.
Yucatan man dies after being involved in two traffic accidents on the same day
First, he crashed in the morning,.
Mahahual businessmen want to acquire COVID-19 vaccines
Local businessmen assure that this would.
3 bars in Mérida are closed for failing to comply with sanitary measures
The State Government closed a restaurant.
State government provides incentives to encourage henequen production
In support of Yucatecan farmers dedicated.
Clandestine cockfight suspended in Abalá, Yucatan
A cockfight, allegedly authorized by the.
More than 65 million shots of the Covid vaccine have been administered throughout the world
The biggest vaccination campaign in history.