Journalist Ernesto Méndez shot to death in Guanajuato

The journalist Ernesto Méndez, behind the car window, during a visit to Guanajuato by the President of Mexico, Andrés Manuel López Obrador.
The journalist Ernesto Méndez, behind the car window, during a visit to Guanajuato by the President of Mexico, Andrés Manuel López Obrador.RR.SS.

Journalist Ernesto Méndez was shot to death on Tuesday night in the city of San Luis de la Paz, in the state of Guanajuato. The media director Your voice He was celebrating with friends and family in a bar owned by his family when an armed commando burst in and opened fire on them, according to Article 19, an international organization that defends the rights of journalists. The association has also affirmed that Méndez had been threatened because of his work as a reporter and columnist in the local media. His death is added to the long list of murdered that has left the siege against the press this year in Mexico. In the last seven months, at least 13 homicides of union workers have been reported.

Camera in hand ready to take a picture. This is how Méndez looks in one of the few photos that circulate of him this Wednesday. Look through the window of a car, it is standing outside. Sitting in the vehicle, in the passenger seat, is President Andrés Manuel López Obrador. The image published by his former colleagues in the middle Free Zonewhere the reporter collaborated, has now been captured as a metaphor for reality: the face of the latest brutal attack on the press has its eyes fixed on the president, who is looking the other way.

The tragic Tuesday began for Méndez as a day of celebration. He was also an entrepreneur and had obtained a concession to carry out a regional fair. They were just celebrating when the shooting started, around 11 pm. As confirmed by the state governor, Diego Sinhue Rodríguez, two other people died in the attack. Both paramedics, police officers and members of the Army showed up at the scene, without being able to save the life of the reporter and his relatives, reported some local media.

The Mexican journalist Ernesto Méndez in an image of his social networks.
The Mexican journalist Ernesto Méndez in an image of his social networks.RR.SS.

Human rights organizations have lamented what happened and asked the Special Prosecutor for Attention to Crimes Committed against Freedom of Expression, dependent on the Attorney General of the Republic, to take on the case and investigate his profession as a possible motive for the crime. “With Ernesto, there will be 13 murders of journalists in 2022, and at least nine related to their work. Therefore, we demand that the Mexican State act urgently to stop this phenomenon and we join in the pain of the family, friends and colleagues”, the Article 19 organization has published.

The journalist had been threatened, Article 19 stated, during previous municipal administrations. The governor, from the opposition National Action Party, has reported that he has asked his administration to “provide full support to the families” of those killed. “We will give timely follow-up to clarify and do justice,” he assured in a Twitter post.

The now penultimate murder against the press, that of journalist Antonio de la Cruz in Tamaulipas, had already made this year the bloodiest for the union. The attacks on freedom of expression are one of the great stains of this six-year term in a country where the figures of violence are on the rise. Given the growing pressure for these numbers, López Obrador has promised that the crimes will not go unpunished. However, many of the cases have only been investigated and progressed superficially, with the perpetrators being arrested, with no trace of who or why they gave the order to pull the trigger.

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