Journalist narrowly escapes armed assault in Mexico after 3 killed this month

One other journalist was attacked Wednesday in Mexico, the place three have been killed to this point this month. Jose Ignacio Santiago stated he narrowly escaped when a automotive carrying armed assailants tried to chop his automobile off on a rural freeway within the southern state of Oaxaca.

Santiago stated he was capable of escape as a result of he was accompanied by two bodyguards assigned to him beneath a authorities program to guard journalists. Santiago had been assigned the guards after he was kidnapped by a gang in 2017.

The assault got here sooner or later after press teams held greater than a dozen demonstrations all through Mexico Tuesday to protest the killings of three journalists for the reason that begin of the yr.

Santiago stated the bodyguard driving him was capable of outmaneuver the attackers, however the assailants opened hearth after they noticed the journalist’s automotive escaping. Santiago, the director of a web based information website, was not injured.

He had been taping video in a distant Triqui Indigenous space, and that will have angered one of many teams battling for management of the area.

“I do not assume I’ve any issues in that space, however they could not have preferred seeing information media within the space,” stated Santiago. “It’s a Triqui space.”

Some 10,000 Triquis stay in distant, impoverished communities within the mountains of Oaxaca. Three Triqui teams are locked in a decades-long armed battle that has seen dozens of killings. In 2010, a Finnish human rights observer and a Mexican political activist had been shot to demise in the identical space.

Assaults on journalists have spiked this month.

Within the border metropolis of Tijuana, two journalists had been killed within the house of every week. On January 17, crime photographer Margarito Martínez was gunned down outdoors his residence. And on January 23, reporter Lourdes Maldonado López was discovered shot to demise inside her automotive. Three years earlier than her demise, Maldonado requested Mexico’s president for assist — “as a result of I concern for my life,” she stated.

A journalist stands near the coffin of Mexican journalist Lourdes Maldonado during her wake in Tijuana
A journalist stands close to the coffin of Mexican journalist Lourdes Maldonado who was killed within the northern border metropolis of Tijuana, throughout her wake in Tijuana, Mexico January 26, 2022. 


On January 10, reporter José Luis Gamboa was killed within the Gulf coast state of Veracruz.

Officers have acknowledged that greater than 90% of murders of journalists and rights defenders stay unresolved, regardless of a authorities system meant to guard them.

The New York-based Committee to Shield Journalists places the share at 95%, stated its Mexico consultant Jan-Albert Hootsen.

“The continuing brutality in opposition to the journalists on this nation is a direct consequence of the authorities’ unwillingness and incapacity to fight the festering impunity that fuels these killings.” Hootsen stated.

Laura Sanchez, a journalist from Baja California dwelling in Mexico Metropolis, ridiculed the federal government program that’s supposed to guard journalists Tuesday. The federal government program typically provides journalists a button fob that may sound an emergency alarm, however some say it’s ineffective.

“What they provide us is a damned panic button, and you already know what that button is? It’s the variety of the municipal police supervisor who’s corrupt and bought out,” Sanchez stated.

Mexico stays probably the most harmful place within the Western Hemisphere for journalists. The federal government says 52 journalists or media staff have been slain in Mexico since December 2018.

It says seven of the 52 killed had been enrolled within the safety program.

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