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Press FreedomMexico

Mexican journalist found dead as attacks on press continue

July 9, 2023

Luis Martin Sanchez Iniguez was found dead in the state of Nayarit. He was last seen in Xalisco, a town that has long been linked to the smuggling of heroin and opium.

Faces of murdered journalists at a vigil for Fredid Roman in 2022
Last year was one of the deadliest years on record for Mexican journalists, with at least 15 media workers murderedImage: Eduardo Verdugo/AP/picture alliance

A journalist for one of Mexico's top newspapers has been found dead in the western state of Nayarit, La Jornada said on Saturday.

"A body found in the village of Huachines... in the municipality of Tepic was identified as Luis Martin Sanchez Iniguez, 59 years old, correspondent for La Jornada," the newspaper said on its website.

'Signs of violence' on body

Sanchez Iniguez had been missing since Wednesday and his wife filed a missing persons report with Mexican authorities on Friday.

He was last seen in Xalisco, a Nayarit town that has long been linked to the smuggling of heroin and opium.

The prosecutor's office said on Saturday that relatives identified the body, which had been dead for at least one or two days.

"The body was found with signs of violence, and two handwritten signs were found on it," prosecutors said in a statement.

Authorities did not reveal what the messages said, but such notes are frequently left by drug cartels with the bodies of victims. The prosecutor's office said the motive in the killing was still under investigation.

Journalists under attack in Mexico

La Jornada correspondents have been targeted in the past, including Miroslava Breach, who was murdered in Chihuahua in March 2017, and Javier Valdez, who was murdered in Sinaloa in May of the same year. 

The murders are part of a wider spate of violence against journalists in Mexico which has spiked under President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador.

Press-related killings have increased 85% in the first half of his term compared to that of his predecessor.

Meanwhile, 2022 was among the deadliest ever for Mexican media workers, with 15 killed.

Guardians of truth

If police confirm Sanchez Iniguez was murdered, he would be at least the second journalist to be killed in Mexico this year.

In February, news photographer Jose Ramiro Araujo was stabbed and beaten to death in the northern Mexico border state of Baja California.

zc/wd (AP, AFP, Reuters)