MIAMI, Florida (December 20, 2017)—The Inter American Press Association (IAPA) today expressed outrage at the murder in Mexico of Gumaro Pérez Aguilando, which brought to 11 the number of journalists killed in that country this year, and stressed the urgent need to speedily investigate and apply justice so as to break the circle of impunity.
Pérez Aguilando, founder and reporter of the portal La Voz del Sur, was murdered yesterday (December 19) in the city of Acayucan in southern Veracruz state. Two assailants shot him during a Christmas celebration in a classroom at the Aguirre Cinta Elementary School where his son was studying.
Pérez Aguilando, 35, covered security issues. He was the only person to be attacked and he died instantly. A member of the Association of Independent Journalists of Acayucan said, "His son did not see when they fired the shots because he was at the time playing outside."
IAPA President Gustavo Mohme, editor of the Peruvian newspaper La República, repudiated the action and regarded as "even more despicable the fact that it has occurred at an educational center." He added his "consternation in the face of the number of journalists murdered this year in the country, the majority of the crimes unpunished."
The chairman of the IAPA's Committee on Freedom of the Press and Information, Roberto Rock, editor of the Mexican news portal La Silla Rota, questioned the restricted protection plan assigned to Pérez Aguilando in Veracruz, one of Mexico's most dangerous states to work as journalist and where this year other murders were reported. Since 2015 and after having received death threats Pérez Aguilando had state government-provided security only during news coverage.
"The numerous unpunished cases in Mexico show that the crimes have largely occurred when the journalist victims were carrying out activities outside their normal work, for which reason protection is limited and raises the possibility that they be murdered in other circumstances," Rock said.
Also murdered in Veracruz this year were Cándido Ríos, a stringer for Diario de Acayucan in Hueyapan de Ocampo on August 22 and Ricardo Monluí Cabrera, editor of the newspapers El Político de Xalapa andmEl Político de Córdoba and the Web site www.elpolitico.com.mx <http://www.elpolitico.com.mx>, in the city of Yanga on March 19. Also killed in Mexico this year were Édgar Daniel Esqueda Castro, news photographer, San Luis Potosí, kidnapped on October 5, whose body was found the following day; Juan Carlos Hernández, stringer photographer and newsroom assistant of the portal La Bandera Noticias, Guanajuato, September 5; Salvador Adame Pardo, founder and editor-in-chief of the news site Canal 6 Media TV, Michoacán, kidnapped on May 18 and whose body was found on June 26; Javier Valdez, correspondent of La Jornada and co-founder of the weekly Río Doce, Sinaloa, May 15; Jonathan Rodríguez, reporter of the weekly El Costeño, Jalisco, May 15; Maximino Rodríguez Palacios, journalist of the portal Colectivo Perica and writer of the column "Es mi opinión" (It Is My Opinion), Baja California Sur, April 14; Miroslava Breach Velducea, correspondent of La Jornada and stringer of Norte and El Diario de Chihuahua, Chihuahua, March 23, and Cecilio Pineda Borto, stringer of the newspapers La Voz de Tierra Caliente and El Universal, Guerrero, March 2.
The IAPA is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to the defense and promotion of freedom of the press and of expression in the Americas. It is made up of more than 1,300 publications from throughout the Western Hemisphere and is based in Miami, Florida.