TIJUANA, MEXICO (AFP) – A journalist was killed in Tijuana on Sunday, the local prosecutor said, the second media worker murdered in less than a week in the northern Mexican border city.
Lourdes Maldonado Lopez was “attacked with a firearm while she was in a vehicle”, said the Baja California state prosecutor’s office.
Mexico is one of the world’s deadliest countries for reporters.
Media rights watchdog Reporters Without Borders (RSF) regularly ranks it alongside Afghanistan and Yemen as the world’s most dangerous places for news media.
Maldonado had worked for several media outlets, including Primer Sistema de Noticias (PSN), which is owned by Jaime Bonilla Valdez, who was governor of Baja California from 2019 to the end of 2021.
She won a lawsuit a few days ago against PSN, which she had been suing for nine years over unfair dismissal, Mexican press reported.
Two years ago, Maldonado asked Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador for “support, help and justice” as she feared for her life, according to a video republished on social media after news broke of her assassination.
“I have been on trial for six years with him,” she added about the governor, during one of Obrador’s press conferences.
A Mexico representative of watchdog RSF Balbina Flores told AFP “it remains to be confirmed” whether Maldonado had official protection.
These crimes “send the message that journalists are killed and nothing happens because there is no one to stop them”, she said.
NGO the Committee to Protect Journalists called on local authorities to “thoroughly and transparently investigate the attack”.
Its representative in Mexico Jan-Albert Hootsen said he was “shocked and horrified by four brutal attacks on journalists in Mexico in barely two weeks”, including a non-fatal knife attack on a media worker in Merida, Yucatan state.
Photojournalist Margarito Martinez was found dead near his home in the city last Monday.
The 49-year-old, who specialised in news related to the police, had a gunshot wound to the head, according to prosecutors.