Journalism in Mexico is in mourning again after Heber Lopez Vasquez became the sixth reporter to be murdered in the country so far this year.
Lopez Vasquez, age not disclosed, director of the news site RCP Noticias, was reportedly shot dead while entering his home in the coastal city of Salina Cruz in the Mexican state of Oaxaca on the evening of 10th February.
The Oaxaca Attorney General’s Office reported that two suspects have been arrested for the journalist’s murder, adding that they were both found with the suspected murder weapons.
The Office announced: “The people who murdered him are already in custody and we are waiting to make them available to the Prosecutor’s Office to continue with the corresponding investigation.”
The local authorities have yet to announce whether Lopez Vasquez’s death was related to drug cartels operating in the region.
So far in 2022, six journalists have been murdered in Mexico. Jose Luis Gamboa was killed in the state of Veracruz on 10th January; photojournalist Margarito Martinez Esquivel was gunned down in the city of Tijuana on 17th January; Lourdes Maldonado was shot to death in Tijuana on 23rd January; Roberto Toledo was assassinated in the state of Michoacan on 31st January; Marcos Ernesto Islas was murdered in Tijuana on 6th February; and now Lopez Vasquez in Salina Cruz.
The journalists’ deaths have led to numerous protests in 23 of Mexico’s 32 states since the start of the year.
According to reports, the situation has become so dire that many Mexican reporters have now left their jobs or moved from their homes to protect themselves. Meanwhile, over 90 percent of cases go unpunished.