Reporter gunned down outside home becomes 11th journalist killed in Mexico this year

A reporter gunned down outside his home has become the 11th journalist to be murdered in Mexico this year.

Juan Carlos Hernandez Rios was attacked by two armed men who were waiting for him at his home in the city of Guanajuato in the central Mexican state of the same name.

Paramedics managed to pick up the 29-year-old alive but he died later in hospital.

The reporter had recently published a story about peasants dispossessed of their land taking legal action against the local government body that took it.

His wife stated that on at least 10 occasions she had arrived home and on opening the garage door seen two hidden people flee.

Two other recent killings fanned fears of corruption in Mexico’s local governments.

Two policemen from Salamanca, in the western autonomous community of Castile and Leon, accused their bosses of corruption in a video that went viral.

Their bodies were found on a road shortly afterwards, showing signs of being brutally beaten before they were killed.

In its latest report on press freedom in Mexico, British human rights organisation Article 19 reported that a journalist is attacked in the country every 15.7 hours.

In the first half of the year, it reported a 23 percent increase in attacks on media workers compared to the same period in 2016.

Non-governmental organisation Reporters Without Borders (Reporters Sans Frontieres) says on its website that Mexico is “the Western Hemisphere’s deadliest country for the media”.

“When journalists cover subjects linked to organized crime or political corruption (especially at the local level), they immediately become targets and are often executed in cold blood,” it says.

“Most of these crimes go unpunished, with Mexico’s pervasive corruption accounting for the impunity.”

RSF’s World Press Freedom Index ranks Mexico 149 out of 180 countries. Bottom is North Korea, top is Norway. The UK is at 40.

Picture: RSF

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