Third journalist killed in Mexico this year found shot dead outside home after receiving threats

The third journalist to be killed in Mexico so far this year was found dead in front of his home last night after allegedly receiving threats from members of the public and “several mayors”.

Leobardo Vazquez was shot dead at his home in the city of Gutierrez Zamora in Veracruz, a Mexican state bordering the Gulf of Mexico.

Vazquez worked for several established Mexican media companies and had recently founded his own news website, Enlace de Gutierrez Zamora (The Gutierrez Zamora Connection).

Local media reported that the 42-year-old was shot by a motorcyclist outside his home at around 8.15pm yesterday.

Ana Laura Perez Mendoza, president of the State Commission for the Protection of Journalists, said: “We know that he had received threats from unknown members of the public, but it is also alleged that he was threatened by several mayors.

“At the moment, details on this are sketchy. He did not report anything to us.”

Vazquez’s colleagues told local media that the journalist was concerned about the threats and had considered asking for help, but never officially reported it.

An investigation into the shooting is now under way.

Vazquez is the third Mexican journalist to be killed this year.

Last month, online reporter Pedro Damian Gomez was found dead at his home in Mexico after receiving a brand new car from a mysterious benefactor.

And in January, authorities said they were investigating potential links between the death of Carlos Dominguez Rodriguez and his work as a journalist.

Mexico is ranked 147th out of 180 in the 2017 World Press Freedom Index compiled by Reporters Without Borders.

In 2017, there were 507 attacks against journalists while 12 were killed.

Nearly 20 per cent of crimes against journalists in Mexico go unpunished.

Throughout Felipe Calderon’s six-year presidential term between 2006 and 2012, 48 reporters were murdered and 15 went missing.

So far during Enrique Pena Nieto’s tenure, 41 journalists have been killed while four have disappeared in a little over five years.

Picture: CEN



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