Reporters Without Borders is appalled by the murders of two journalists in the northern states of Nuevo Léon and Chihuahua on 10 July. Both murders bore the hallmarks of organised crime killings and come at time of mounting violence affecting both journalists and the general population.
The body of radio journalist Marco Aurelio Martínez Tijerina, 45, was found in Montemorelos, in Nuevo León, on the evening of 10 July, 24 hours after he had been kidnapped on the street by gunmen aboard three pickup trucks. He had been shot once in the head and, according to initial reports, he had also been tortured. An anonymous caller told the authorities where his body was located several hours after his family reported his abduction.
Martínez produced and presented Informativo 800, a news programme broadcast by regional radio station XEDD Radio La Tremenda. He used to present Contrapunto, a news programme on XERN Radio Naranjera 950 AM and he also used to be TV Azteca’s correspondent.
Guillermo Alcaraz Trejo, 24, was gunned down by masked gunmen in Chihuahua, the capital of Chihuahua state, as he left the newspaper OMNIA, where he had gone to greet former colleagues. Investigators found more than 40 bullet impacts from an AK-47 assault rifle. A former cameraman, Alcaraz edited the video section of the website of the state human rights commission, CEDH.
Their murders bring the number of journalists killed in Mexico since the start of the year to 10 or possible 11. Five of them were killed in the space of two weeks. As the violence continues to mount in Mexico, journalists now live in constant fear of being kidnapped, tortured and murdered. The violence is encouraged by the fact that those who kill journalists are almost never punished.
A total of 67 journalists have been killed in Mexico since 2000 while another 11 others have gone missing since 2003. Mexico is the western hemisphere’s deadliest country for the media and one of the most dangerous in the world.