Mexican Journalist Found Shot Dead On The Side Of The Road On World Press Freedom Day

This Mexican journalist who ran a popular online blog was allegedly kidnapped, shot multiple times and then dumped on the side of the road on World Press Freedom Day.

Benjamin Morales Hernandez, age not stated, who ran the ‘Noticias Xonoidag’ blog, was found dead by Mexican authorities in the town of Sonoyta in the northern Mexican state of Sonora yesterday (3rd May).

The victim’s brother informed authorities that he lost contact with Morales on Sunday (2nd May).

Local news outlet El Imparcial reports that authorities located the victim’s white GMC Sierra Pick Up Truck with the engine running outside Sonoyta.

Credit: @noticiasxonoidag/Newsflash
Benjamin Morales Hernandez, the journalist who was killed in Sonora state, Mexico, May 2021.

Sonora State Attorney General’s Office confirmed that the dead body of Benjamin Morales was found near the vehicle with multiple gunshot wounds.

The attorney general added that they found a note left by the suspected assassins but they are yet to make its contents public.

His death was confirmed exactly on World Press Freedom Day, a day created by the United Nation (UN) General Assembly in December 1993 that celebrates the importance of a free press and reminds world leaders that they have a duty to protect journalists.

Morales’s death came just two days after he told his followers on Facebook that he had received several anonymous threats.

In a Facebook post uploaded on Saturday (1st May) he discussed the upcoming elections in Sonora and claimed that he had received several threatening messages online from anonymous Netizens.

The death of Morales has added to the growing list of journalists who have been killed in Mexico in recent years.

Credit: Newsflash
Benjamin Morales Hernandez, the journalist who was killed in Sonora state, Mexico, May 2021.

Espacio OSC, a Human Rights advocacy group, released a report to mark World Press Freedom Day which found 692 journalists in Mexico had been attacked violently in 2020 alone.

Whilst the International Federation of Journalists claims that Mexico is one of the most dangerous places in the world to be a journalist with the highest number of journalists killed out of any country in 2020.

The investigation into the incident is ongoing and so far no details regarding suspects have been released.

Story By: Peter Barker, Sub-Editor: Joseph Golder, Agency:  Newsflash