Journalist killed in northern Mexico, 9th so far this year
MEXICO CITY –
Another journalist was found dead in northern Mexico on Thursday, the ninth media worker killed in the country so far this year.
Prosecutors in the northern state of Sinaloa said the body of Luis Enrique Ramirez Ramos was found on a dirt road near a scrap yard in the state capital Culiacan.
Prosecturs said his body was wrapped in a layer of black plastic, and he died from multiple stab wounds to the head.
Ramirez Ramos, 59, is the ninth reporter or photographer to be killed this year in Mexico, making the country the most dangerous place in the world for journalism outside of a war zone.
Ramirez Ramos’ news website, “Fuentes Fidedignas,” or “Trusted Sources”, said he had been abducted near his home hours earlier. The actor said that he was not reported missing by the police.
The Committee to Protect Journalists said it mourned the killing and “calls on the authorities to urgently investigate this behaviour.”
Ramirez Ramos is listed as the “founding director” of the site, which has reported relatively little on the drug cartel violence that plagues Sinaloa, home to the gang of the same name.
However, Fuentes Fidedignas has covered local political disputes, which is often a risky topic for reporters in the Mexican provinces, especially in Sinaloa.
But the website also includes a section on “good news” about Sinaloa, and in its mission statement says that “just as we denounce evils and corruption, we also include our industrious, caring nature only and generously that our good people give to the state.”
Francisco Chiquete, a fellow reporter in Culiacan, said “Luis Enrique Ramirez is a very professional and competent journalist” and noted that he has expressed concern about retaliation for his work. long ago in 2015. Prosecutors said he did not report the threats at the time. police.
Chiquete said he is not aware of any more recent threats to his colleague, who also writes columns for Sinaloa’s El Debate newspaper.
Many of the murders of journalists in recent years in Mexico have been attributed to drug cartels, and journalists in the most violent cities, like Culiacan, often avoid the topic of gangs for their own safety. theirs.
But in a 2015 interview with MVS radio station following the death of fellow reporter Humberto Millan, Ramirez Ramos said, “I don’t write stories, I don’t say good or bad stories. Neither does Humberto Millan, and that’s not enough to keep him alive and working.”
“What’s going on? Humberto Millan and I only write about politicians, and now it turns out we can’t write about politicians either, so what are the journalists in Sinaloa going to write about?” he said at the time.
Mexico’s federal and state governments have been criticized for neither preventing the killings nor adequately investigating them.
While President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has promised a “zero punishment” program to investigate the killings, on Thursday the head of that program listed just six journalist killings this year, although there have been eight cases.
And the president continued his frequent verbal attacks on journalists whose stories he did not like, calling them “conservatives” and “mercenaries,” and using information from those advocates – and apparently the tax authorities – to make public the income of reporters he dislikes.
Press groups say Lopez Obrador’s daily criticism of journalists makes them more vulnerable to violence.
In February, the Inter-American Press Association called on the president to “immediately suspend acts of aggression and insults, because attacks from the highest levels of power encourage violence against the press.” solstice.”
And in March, the European Union passed a resolution that “calls on the authorities, especially the highest authorities, to refrain from releasing any communications that could stigmatize insurers.” human rights defenders, journalists and media workers, exacerbating the atmosphere against them or distorting the flow of investigation.”