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U.K. Embassy in Mexico condemns murders of 3 journalists in one month

Mexico City, Mexico — The Embassy of the United Kingdom in Mexico has condemned the murders of three journalists that happened during the month of January.

On January 10, José Luis Gamboa Arenas, director of Inforegio, was assassinated in the Port of Veracruz. The identity of his body was confirmed by the Veracruz State Commission for the Attention and Protection of Journalists on January 14.

On January 17, Alfonso Margarito Martínez Esquivel, a photojournalist for El weekly Zeta was assassinated in Tijuana, Baja California as he left his home. He was a photojournalist for stories related to security issues. At the time of his death, he was under the protection of the Protection Mechanism for journalists and human rights defenders of the Ministry of the Interior.

Journalist María de Lourdes Maldonado López was shot to death in Tijuana on January 23. She had recently won a lawsuit against former Governor Jaime Bonilla Valdez, owner of the communication company PSN, for labor debts.

In 2019, the journalist asked President Andrés Manuel López Obrador for justice saying that since the lawsuit, she feared for her life. She had been the target of intimidating attacks in the past.

In a letter, the Embassy expressed its condolences and denounced the violence faced by journalists in the country.

“Their deaths are a significant loss to their families, their communities and journalism across the country. We believe that press freedom is an essential component of a fair and transparent democracy. These targeted attacks against journalists represent a negative trend in Mexico of silencing those who report essential truths,” they wrote.

The Embassy called on Mexican authorities to “exhaustively” investigate the open cases of attacks against journalists “in order to identify and prosecute those responsible and defend press freedom.”

They also offered support to “address the high levels of impunity and threats faced by journalists,” including the Media Freedom Coalition.

“Media freedom is an international global asset, and we continue to oppose those who repress and attack individuals or organizations that report for the benefit of an open and democratic society,” they said.

Last week in Isla Mujeres, a man was subdued by neighbors and arrested by police after he attempted to shoot and kill a journalist at his home.