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Mexico: journalist and bodyguard shot dead

August 3, 2020

Morrugares had reported on a crime close to a nearby supermarket, involving a turf battle between criminal gangs. He is the fourth journalist to be murdered in the country this year.

Mexiko Symbolbild Tatort
Image: AFP/P. Pardo

A Mexican journalist and his police bodyguard were shot dead in the southern state of Guerrero early on Sunday, police and human rights officials said, adding to the rising death toll of journalists in the country.

Heavily armed men entered the restaurant-bar where Pablo Morrugares and his bodyguard were dining and opened fire on them. The incident took place at around 1 a.m. (06:00 UTC) in the city of Iguala, according to police reports.

Morrugares ran the PM Noticias, an online publication based in the city of Iguala that specializes in covering crime and police events.

Shortly before he was killed, Morrugares had reported on a crime close to a nearby supermarket that involved a turf battle between criminal gangs, according to local media.

The Guerrero state Human Rights Commission, an autonomous government office, condemned Morrugares's murder and demanded an "immediate investigation" to identify and arrest the killers.

Read more: Project Miroslava reveals web of organized crime and political corruption behind journalist's murder

Mortal danger for Mexico's reporters

A dangerous place for journalists?

This attack was not the first time that Morrugares had been targeted. He was given police protection after he and his wife escaped an attempt on their lives in 2016.

He is the fourth journalist murdered in Mexico this year, according to news agency AFP's tally.

The country ranks 143 out of 180 countries on the NGO Reporters without Borders 2020 World Press Freedom Index.

Since 2000, more than 100 journalists have been killed in Mexico. Only a fraction of these crimes have resulted in convictions.

kmm/aw (AFP, EFE)