Tijuana, a border city in northern Mexico, has lost another journalist in the past week, making it the country’s third murder of a journalist in as many months.
President Andrés Manuel Obrador of Mexico called for a complete inquiry on Monday and warned against drawing any conclusions about the motive for the death of Tijuana journalist Lourdes Maldonado López, who had once sought his assistance.
A statement from the Baja California state prosecutor’s office stated that Maldonado was found shot to death inside a car on Sunday. At around 7 p.m., police got a 911 call and discovered the body of Maldonado.
Maldonado appeared at López Obrador’s daily morning news conference in 2019 and appealed for his help “because I fear for my life,” he said.
Maldonado and Jaime Bonilla, a candidate from López Obrador’s Morena party who was elected governor of Baja California later that year, had been involved in a labour dispute for years. He stepped down from his position at the end of last year.
Earlier this month, Maldonado declared that she had won her nine-year legal battle with a media firm Bonilla owned.
In a tweet, the press organisation Article 19 noted that Maldonado had previously covered Tijuana’s corruption and politics and had been the target of threats because of it. In the state’s safety system for journalists who have been threatened, the group did not provide details on the security measures.
López Obrador stated on Monday that an investigation was required to see “whether there is a tie with the labour complaint and discover who is accountable.”
It’s not always possible to link a labour dispute to a crime.” According to the president, making snap decisions is irresponsible. He went on to say that he assisted her in some way after she appeared at his press conference in 2019 but did not elaborate.
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For the past few years, Maldonado had worked with numerous media outlets, but he recently started a three-part series on local news called “Brebaje.”
On January 17, Margarito Martnez, a Tijuana photographer, was shot dead outside his home. He was well-known in the city’s crime-infested neighbourhoods for his work as a crime reporter. As well as various local, national, and international media sources, he has worked for Cadena Noticias, a news organisation in his hometown.
There has been no evidence that the murders are linked in any way whatsoever. A turf war between rival drug cartels is tearing Tijuana apart as they vie for control of the city’s lucrative border smuggling ports and the city’s street-level narcotics activity.
In the Western Hemisphere, the Committee to Protect Journalists ranks Mexico as the most dangerous country for journalists.