Reporters Without Borders is appalled to learn that Nolberto Herrera Rodríguez, a cameraman and reporter with Canal 9 TV news, was found murdered in his home in Guadalupe, in the north-central state of Zacatecas, on 29 July. He had been stabbed more than 20 times.
He is the fourth journalist to be murdered this year in Mexico in a possible or proven connection with their work. The federal prosecutor’s office, which is investigating Herrera’s murder, seems to think it may be a crime of passion but the authorities have not ruled out a link with his work.
“We urge the prosecutor in charge of the case to carry out a swift but thorough investigation. Given the large number of journalists who are threatened, attacked or murdered in connection with their work, especially outside the capital, it is essential that the possibility of a link to the victim’s work should be fully examined in this case,” said Camille Soulier, the head of the Reporters Without Borders Americas desk.
Zacatecas is notorious as a drug-trafficking hub. Journalists are under constant pressure from both organized crime and the local authorities, with the result that censorship or self-censorship is common.
The Zacatecas state government reached an agreement with certain local media in March 2013 for coverage of violent events to be limited “for the sake of our image.”
Mexico is ranked 152nd out of 180 countries in the 2014 Reporters Without Borders press freedom index.