October 4, 2023


Imagination at work

Mexican Journalist Who Told Country’s President She Feared for Her Life Is Killed

Lourdes Maldonado,

a nicely-identified community television individuality who labored for many media retailers in Tijuana, was shot in her auto by unknown assailants as she arrived house Sunday night time, in accordance to regional authorities.

Just about three yrs in the past, she instructed Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador that she feared for her life mainly because of a labor dispute that included a prime ruling celebration politician. Past year, she entered a authorities journalist protection method.

Ms. Maldonado, 68 decades old, was the second journalist killed in Tijuana in the past week and the 3rd this thirty day period in the country. Margarito López Esquivel, a photojournalist who covered the police defeat in Tijuana, was gunned down outside his dwelling on Jan. 17.

José Luis Gamboa,

a reporter in the Gulf Coast state of Veracruz, the most violent point out for journalists in Mexico, was stabbed to loss of life previously this month. None of the killings have been solved.

Journalists held up shots of photojournalist Margarito López Esquivel, who was gunned down outside his home previously this month in Tijuana.



“It’s extremely sad what happened in Tijuana. It hurts a whole lot,” Mr. López Obrador claimed at a day-to-day information conference. Mr. López Obrador promised a comprehensive investigation, but blamed the country’s superior stage of violence on the “social decomposition” he attributed to the “neoliberal” financial insurance policies of previous governments.

In this situation, on the other hand, the target had publicly warned she was in hazard from a effective politician from the president’s ruling Morena get together.

In March 2019, Ms. Maldonado attended Mr. López Obrador’s each day news convention to ask for his help, indicating she feared for her lifestyle for the reason that of a labor dispute with a television enterprise she said unfairly fired her several years previously, devoid of paying suitable payment. The media firm, Primer Sistema de Noticias, is owned by

Jaime Bonilla,

then the ruling bash applicant for governor of Baja California, the place Tijuana is located. Mr. Bonilla won a shortened expression as governor, has because left business, and continue to owns the media corporation.

“I’m here to talk to for assist simply because this consists of a senator on leave…and your candidate for the governor’s race in Baja California, Mr. Jaime Bonilla. Which is why I’m below, asking for your help,” she reported at the time, in accordance to transcripts of the trade. The president requested his spokesman to look into the situation.

‘I don’t imagine the president has finished anything to reinforce prosecutors or police to stop murders.’

— Jan-Albert Hootsen, Mexico agent for the Committee to Secure Journalists

In an interview he posted on-line Monday, Mr. Bonilla informed Mexico’s Radio System that he experienced in no way threatened Ms. Maldonado and had practically nothing to do with her death. “I’m certain the authorities will shortly uncover people liable,” he stated.

Past week, Ms. Maldonado’s contract dispute was resolved in her favor by a federal labor court docket, which purchased an embargo on various belongings of the media corporation in get to pay back Ms. Maldonado, according to community media studies and pals of the reporter.

Mr. López Obrador reported his authorities would investigate the criminal offense, but he urged men and women not to jump to conclusions. “One can’t instantly hyperlink a labor dispute to a criminal offense,” he reported.

In the past a few yrs, 32 journalists have been murdered in Mexico, producing it the most perilous state in the Western Hemisphere for journalists, according to the Committee to Safeguard Journalists, an intercontinental advocacy team. It has established that 13 of the Mexican journalists have been killed for reasons similar to their function.

About 95% of the journalists’ killings, on the other hand, go unpunished, claimed

Jan-Albert Hootsen,

the organization’s Mexico representative.

“This seems to be a legal underworld execution-type killing,” Mr. Hootsen said of the slaying of Ms. Maldonado. Her killing was equivalent to that of Mr. Martinez, who was also shot outdoors of his house. The photojournalist experienced, like Ms. Maldonado, been given threats.

Scores of Mexican journalists claimed on social media they ended up preparing a countrywide protest Tuesday in towns throughout Mexico, donning black in honor of their slain colleagues. Journalists in Chilpancingo, the funds of Guerrero state, held a tiny protest at a toll booth alongside the Mexico City-Acapulco freeway on Monday to protest the Tijuana killings.

Mexican journalists, several putting on black, marched on the streets or gathered in plazas of towns in more than two dozen Mexican states Tuesday to protest the demise of their three colleagues.

Stéphane Dujarric,

spokesman for the U.N. secretary-normal, on Monday condemned Ms. Maldonado’s killing. “We phone on Mexican authorities to fortify the protection of journalists, in individual to get further more techniques to protect against assaults on them, which includes by tackling threats and slurs aimed at them,” he stated at a news briefing.

The U.S. also condemned the killing. “We are alarmed by the murder of Lourdes Maldonado Lopez the 3rd journalist murdered in Mexico so far this 12 months. We stand in assistance of all Mexican journalists,” wrote Brian Nichols, the senior point out department formal for Latin The usa, retweeting a translation of a Monday tweet from the U.S. Embassy.

While journalists and others have pressed Mr. López Obrador’s governing administration to defend reporters, activists say he has done tiny to improve the circumstance. The president has regularly blamed general legal violence on free-current market policies of earlier governments.

“It shouldn’t be about ideology,” Mr. Hootsen mentioned. “It’s about carrying out seem community plan. I never consider the president has accomplished something to bolster prosecutors or police to halt murders.”

The hottest capturing surprised journalists and inhabitants in Tijuana, which is across the border from San Diego, Calif. “Impunity is growing at a terrible speed,” mentioned

Aline Corpus,

a nearby reporter who knew Ms. Maldonado. “I’ve in no way observed this kind of fury, and in so a lot of places.”

At the time of her loss of life, Ms. Maldonado, a journalist for a lot more than four many years, had an on-line plan in which she discussed recent situations ranging from nearby politics to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Footage showing armed and masked men distributing aid to poor communities in Mexico during the coronavirus pandemic has been broadly shared on social media. WSJ’s Jose de Cordoba analyzed the pictures to fully grasp how a new variety of “cartel philanthropy” is complicated the govt. (Initially released May well 2020)

The other slain journalist, Mr. Martínez, 49, was remembered by colleagues as a dedicated photographer who would listen to police radio and present up at shootings and fires, at times even arriving before authorities. Following taking pics, he would narrate the situations on a Facebook channel. He also worked as a fixer for overseas reporters who visited Tijuana, Ms. Corpus mentioned.

Homicides in Baja California point out, exactly where Tijuana is the largest town, have risen sharply in recent yrs, exceeding 3,000 or 82 for every 100,000 inhabitants past year, in accordance to official stories.

“Tijuana is the most violent metropolis in Mexico,” explained Eduardo Guerrero, a protection analyst in Mexico Town.

Two of Mexico’s most strong felony corporations, the Sinaloa Cartel and the Jalisco New Generation Cartel, are vying for dominance in Tijuana, which is a big place of entry for medicine into the U.S. There are also various other felony gangs operating there, Mr. Guerrero explained.

Publish to José de Córdoba at [email protected]

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