Mexican journalist shot dead in tourist town of Acapulco

Members of the tactical intervention team check the area where Mexican journalist Nelson Mateus was murdered in the resort town of Acapulco, Guerrero state. (Photo/AFP)

A Mexican journalist was shot dead in a store parking lot on Saturday in the southern tourist town of Acapulco, regional authorities said, the country's second journalist to be killed in a week.

Prosecutors said they have opened an investigation into the killing of Nelson Matus for homicide with a firearm, days after another journalist was found dead in a country considered one of the most dangerous in the world for members of the press.

Matus, the director of news outlet Lo Real de Guerrero, was shot as he was getting into his car in a thrift shop parking lot.

The Guerrero state prosecutor's office said in a statement that it "reiterates its commitment to exhaust every line of investigation" into his death.

Matus had worked as a journalist for 15 years, specializing in covering violence in the country, Mexico delegate for press freedom organization Reporters Without Borders Balbina Flores told AFP.

More than 150 journalists have been killed in Mexico since 2000, according to the group, in attacks that are often linked to powerful drug cartels.

'Most of the journalists displaced'

Guerrero state is facing particularly high levels of violence, making journalists there more vulnerable, Flores said.

"Most of the journalists from that state have been displaced" to other regions or abroad because they have been victims of attacks and death threats, she said.

The body of fellow journalist Luis Martin Sanchez, a correspondent for La Jornada newspaper, was found this week "with signs of violence," officials said, after he had been reported missing.

La Jornada, a leftist newspaper founded in 1985 in Mexico City, has already lost two of its most widely known correspondents: Miroslava Breach, killed in Chihuahua in March 2017, and Javier Valdez, who w as also a contributor to AFP, murdered in Sinaloa in May of the same year.

Sanchez was one of three active or former journalists who had been abducted in the western state of Nayarit, the prosecutor's office said in a statement.

His body turned up in a village near the state capital Tepic with two cardboard messages pinned to his chest, the office added, without specifying what the messages said.

Another former journalist, Osiris Maldonado de la Paz, was kidnapped from his home in the town of Xalisco this month, while a third kidnapped journalist was later found alive.

According to the government, there were 13 killings of journalists reported in Mexico in 2022 alone. Most crimes against journalists remain unpunished.

Dozens of journalists held demonstrations in Mexico City and other areas following Sanchez's death, calling for justice.

The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights condemned his murder and called for a "prompt, thorough, independent and effective" investigation.


Source: TRT