Journalists and friends of Mexican reporter Cecilio Pineda Birto protest outside the attorney general's office of Guerrero, Mexico, on 3 March, 2017. EFE-EPA FILE/Maria Meza

Third journalist killed in Mexico this year

Mexico City, May 23 (EFE).- Journalist and former municipal official Marco Aurelio Ramírez Hernández was shot dead on Tuesday in the city of Tehuacán, in Mexico’s Puebla state, the third journalist to be killed in the country this year, human rights organization Article 19 reported.

Ramírez Hernández, 69, was shot while traveling in his car after leaving his home.

Article 19 said on Twitter that Ramírez Hernández was a journalist for almost 3 decades.

“He worked in several media, including Periódico Central. In 2018, he worked in the mayor’s office of Tehuacán and recently worked as a lawyer and collaborating with some media,” it added.

The nonprofit said that the journalist was chased around 1:30 pm by armed men who fired at his vehicle, causing it to crash in the vicinity of the Agua Blanca subdivision.

Article 19 urged the state’s attorney general’s office to investigate the murder under the approved protocol against crimes of freedom of expression, keeping this line of investigation open.

It also called on Puebla’s government and the Federal Mechanism for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders and Journalists to coordinate and protect Ramírez Hernández’s family and colleagues.

The Americas program in the Committee to Protect Journalists said it was aware of Ramírez Hernández’s murder and was gathering information about the incident.

On May 11, Mexican journalist Gerardo Torres Rentería was shot dead in the port of Acapulco, in the southern Guerrero state.

The organization, Alianza de Medios, confirmed the murder of Torres Rentería, who was a correspondent for Reuters and TV Azteca.

He was the second journalist to be killed in Mexico in 2023.

On Feb. 12, journalist and environmental activist Abisaí Pérez Romero was murdered in Tula, in the central state of Hidalgo.

Mexico was declared the most dangerous country at peace for the media in 2022, accounting for 20 percent of the murders of journalists across the world, with 13 cases, according to the Reporters Without Borders nonprofit.

According to Article 19, a total of 157 journalists have been killed in Mexico since 2000, possibly due to their work.

Out of them, 37 have been murdered during the current term of President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, who took office on Dec. 1, 2018. EFE