Mexican journalist Fredide Roman was killed Monday afternoon in downtown Chilpancingo, the capital of Guerrero state. Authorities said he was killed while sitting in the passenger seat of his car. According to friends, the 60-year-old journalist was killed outside his home, where he was also editing the weekly. No realdad. roman is Fifteenth journalist murdered in Mexico So far this year.
The news was spread on social media: Roman, a veteran journalist from the state of Guerrero, was shot. Rosario Garcia, a friend and fellow journalist, told EL PAÍS that Roman was a “very happy” person. Just 40 minutes into the shooting, Garcia explained by phone that the two had intersected at last week’s event, but Roman did not mention any threats. His death comes just one month after the murder of his son, Bladimir Roman, in the city of Okotito, adjacent to the state capital. According to Garcia, Bladimir Roman was shot while “walking in broad daylight”.
Freddy Roman was killed less than two hours after he went to work. On the day of his murder, he posted a Facebook column criticizing Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador’s timid reaction to the report’s findings on Ayotzinaba case, which found that the attack on students in Iguala, in September 2014, which ended with the disappearance of 43 youths and several deaths, was a state crime. According to Roman, Lopez Obrador was avoiding blaming former Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto. Later that day, he streamed a live video of an event organized by Guerrero’s governor, Evelyn Salgado, and, according to his friends, returned home as soon as he finished. Although authorities have not released further details, Roman is believed to have been shot while inside his car and died at the scene. No arrests have been made so far, but the authorities suspect that the crime is linked to the murder of Blademir Roman.
According to the NGO ARTICLE 19, 2017 was the deadliest year for journalists in Mexico, when 12 journalists were murdered. Only in the first eight months of 2022, this number has already been exceeded. Mexico is now considered the deadliest place for a reporter in the world.
The rising number of journalist deaths cast a shadow over the Mexican government of Lopez Obrador. In March, the European Parliament issued a statement condemning violence against journalists in Mexico and the administration’s failure to address the problem. The warning was issued after eight journalists were murdered in Mexico in the first three months of 2022. However, López Obrador accused his political opponents of working with European conservatives to damage his image.
International outrage over the killing of journalists in Mexico has done little to stop the killings. Recent victims include Juan Argon Lopez, who went missing for two weeks, before his body was found in Sonora; Ernesto Mendes, who was murdered in Guanajuato; Antonio de la Cruz, who was killed in an attack in Tamaulipas that also claimed the life of his 23-year-old daughter; and Yesenia Mollinedo and Johana García, who were murdered in Cosoleacaque, Veracruz.
In addition to the murders, journalists in Mexico have also faced threats, been forced to move cities or had to seek protection from the Federal Protection Mechanism for Human Rights Defenders and Journalists, an initiative aimed at Providing security for journalists and rights workers who think they are in danger. But the program has been plagued by problems: it did not stop journalist Lourdes Maldonado from murdering in January in Tijuana.
While Lopez Obrador has promised to seek justice for murdered journalists, in many cases, only the shooter is arrested, and there is little investigation into who order to kill.
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