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Mexican Photojournalist Found Dead In Country's Capital

A Mexican photojournalist, who worked for, among others, the investigative outfit Proceso, has been found dead along with four other people at an apartment in the country's capital.

According to Article 19, a group that advocates for press freedom, Rubén Espinosa is the 88th journalist killed in Mexico.

But this death is different. According to Article 19, which talked to Espinoza's family, the photojournalist had been threatened in his home state of Veracruz. The threats were serious enough that he decided to leave Veracruz and head to Mexico City, which has been seen until now as a refuge for journalists threatened by organized crime in the country.

Unfortunately, The Guardian reports, Espinoza was found with two gunshot wounds:

"He was found dead with four women, three of whom lived in the apartment in the middle-class Narvarte neighborhood near the centre of the city, according to the Mexico City prosecutor's office. The fourth woman was a domestic employee, the prosecutor's statement said. It said identifications and cause of death were still being verified."

Article 19 adds:

"Rubén Espinosa's murder marks a new milestone in the violence against the press in Mexico. It is the first time an internally displaced journalist is killed in the Federal District. The violence that Espinosa had suffered was known publicly, so his killing occurred without the authorities charged with protecting journalists lifting one finger to protect Espinosa. Article 19 is extremely concerned that Mexico City is no longer a safe haven for the dozens of displaced journalists who live there.

"It is inconceivable with the murder of Espinosa there have been 88 journalists murdered and that authorities continue to say that they are doing everything possible to protect journalists. The reality is that violence against the press is growing and there has been impunity in every case."

Vice News has a bit more on the dire situation for journalists in Mexico:

"At seven months on, 2015 is already more deadly for journalists in Mexico than all of 2014, in which five reporters were killed in the country. Mexico is ranked 148 out of 180 countries in the published by Reporters Without Borders — below Honduras, Myanmar, and Venezuela.

"This year's rate of journalist killings is raising increasingly desperate calls of alarm among press freedom advocates about the climate of violence against reporters in Mexico.

"Most of the homicides are by far concentrated in the Gulf coast state of Veracruz, home to several key eastern ports and a hub for drug- and human-trafficking. Since December 2010, when current Gov. Javier Duarte took office, 14 reporters who worked in the state have been killed or disappeared. Four have been killed this year."

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Eyder Peralta is NPR's East Africa correspondent based in Nairobi, Kenya.
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