During January 2022 four journalist have been murdered in Mexico.
(MICHOACAN Mexico – Monitor) – Roberto Toledo, a lawyer and journalist for the Monitor Michoacán portal was shot and killed on Monday in the municipality of Zitácuaro. Toledo was shot dead by gunmen who attacked him in the municipality of Zitácuaro. Local media reported that the 55 years-old journalist had already registered threats and was under the protection of the Federal Government.
The death of the lawyer and columnist was confirmed by Armando Linares, director of Monitor Michoacán, who condemned the aggression against the journalist and demanded the clarification of the murder.
This is the fourth journalist murdered in Mexico during January 2022.
- On January 10, José Luis Gamboa Arenas, director of the digital media Inforegio, where he reported on problems of insecurity and politics, was murdered in Veracruz.
- On January 17, photojournalist Margarito Martínez was shot dead in Tijuana, Baja California, just as he was getting into his vehicle at his home in the Camino Verde neighborhood.
- On January 23, in Tijuana, journalist Lourdes Maldonado was shot next to her home, losing her life minutes after the attack.
- On January 1, Roberto Toledo, a journalist for the Monitor Michoacán portal was shot and killed. Toledo allegedly was under the protection of the Federal Government.
With this last death, 149 journalists have been murdered for their work since 2000 to date in Mexico, 28 of them during the mandate of Andrés Manuel López Obrador, which began in December 2018.
After one crime in December 2018 and ten in 2019, the country registered seven homicides of communicators in 2020. According to the organization Reporters Without Borders (RSF), at least seven journalists were murdered in Mexico in 2021, making it “the deadliest in the world for the press.”
Response from the federal government.
Jesús Ramírez Cuevas, General Coordinator of Social Communication and Spokesperson for the Government of the Republic, posted on Twitter: “The Government of Mexico condemns the murder of journalist Roberto Toledo of the Monitor Michoacán portal. We will work together with the state and municipal governments to clarify the case; we will not allow impunity. Let us defend freedom of expression and the right to information“. However, the reality has a very different face. As an example: the arrest of Pulitzer Prize-winning Reuters photojournalist Édgar Garrido, while doing his job in CDMX, in the Benito Juárez mayor’s office.
18 hours later, the General Coordinator of Social Communication and Spokesperson for the Mexican Government retracted his statement and said: “According to judicial investigations, Roberto Toledo, who was murdered today, worked as an assistant in a law firm, not as a journalist. We condemn this crime. No human being should be deprived of his life. Our condolences to his family and friends”.
The organization Reporters Without Borders (RSF), at least seven journalists were murdered in Mexico in 2021, making it “the deadliest place in the world for the press.”
Mexico ranks 143rd out of 180 countries in RSF’s 2021 World Press Freedom Index.
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