Mexican journalist murdered in Tijuana, second in less than a week

Published January 24, 2022
Journalists cover the crime scene where journalist Lourdes Maldonado was murdered in Santa Fe, Tijuana's outskirts, Baja California, Mexico, on Saturday. — AFP
Journalists cover the crime scene where journalist Lourdes Maldonado was murdered in Santa Fe, Tijuana's outskirts, Baja California, Mexico, on Saturday. — AFP

A journalist was killed in Tijuana on Sunday, the local prosecutor said, the second media worker murdered in less than a week in the northern Mexican border city.

Lourdes Maldonado Lopez was “attacked with a firearm while she was in a vehicle,” said the Baja California state prosecutor's office.

Mexico is one of the world's deadliest countries for reporters.

Media rights watchdog Reporters Without Borders regularly ranks it alongside Afghanistan and Yemen among the world's most dangerous places for news media.

Maldonado had worked for several media outlets, including Primer Sistema de Noticias (PSN), which is owned by Jaime Bonilla, who was governor of Baja California from 2019 to the end of 2021.

She won a lawsuit a few days ago against PSN, which she had been suing for nine years for unfair dismissal, Mexican press reported.

Two years ago, Maldonado had asked Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador for “support, help and justice” as she feared for her life, according to a video republished on social media after news broke of her assassination.

“I have been on trial for six years with him,” she added about the governor, during one of Obrador's press conferences.

NGO the Committee to Protect Journalists said on Twitter it was “shocked by the murder of Lourdes Maldonado, the second reporter to be killed in the city of Tijuana in less than a week”. The group called on local authorities to “thoroughly and transparently investigate the attack”.

Its representative in Mexico, Jan-Albert Hootsen, added that he was “shocked and horrified by four brutal attacks on journalists in Mexico in barely two weeks”, including a non-fatal knife attack on a media worker in Merida, Yucatan state.

On Monday, photojournalist Margarito Martinez was found dead near his home in the city.

The 49-year-old, who specialised in news related to the police, had a gunshot wound to the head, according to prosecutors.

Authorities were also urged to investigate an attack earlier this month that led to the death of journalist and social media activist Jose Luis Gamboa in the eastern state of Veracruz.

Gamboa was taken to the hospital on January 10 after he was stabbed and left lying on the street, but his body was not identified until Friday.

It was unclear if the killing was related to his work.

At least seven journalists were murdered in Mexico in 2021, according to an AFP count, although it has not been determined if all the killings were linked to their work.

More than 100 reporters have been murdered since 2000 in Mexico and only a fraction of the crimes have resulted in convictions.

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