17 May 2019

IAPA condemns the assassination of another journalist in Mexico

Francisco Romero, sixth journalist killed in Mexico this year.

Miami (May 17, 2019) - The Inter-American Press Association (IAPA) condemned the murder of journalist Francisco Romero, the sixth of such crime in Mexico this year. The organization reiterated its request to the government for urgency in investigating and solving this crime.

The body of Francisco Romero, director of digital media at Ocurrió Aquí (It Happened Here), was found around 6 a.m. on May 16 in the vicinity of a bar in Playa del Carmen, Quintana Roo state. His body was bruised and had a bullet wound in the head. On his Facebook news page, Romero reported he had received threats, after which he was welcomed into the National Mechanism for the Protection of Journalists and Human Rights Defenders.

IAPA President, María Elvira Domínguez, condemned the murder of Romero and urged the State to show the political will to fulfill its duty to protect journalists, as well as to investigate and punish acts of violence. "Our organization will also continue to reiterate the urgency of correcting the shortcomings of protection protocols so that they may effectively fulfill the purpose for which they were created," said Domínguez, director of the Colombian newspaper El País.

Romero, known as "Ñaca ñaca", was a contributor to the newspaper El Quintana Roo Hoy and the digital weekly Playa News. On Jul. 24 of last year, the director of Playa News, Rúben Pat, was murdered followed by José Guadalupe Chan Dzib, a contributor to the same outlet on Jun. 29.

The president of the Committee on Freedom of the Press and Information, Roberto Rock, said "unfortunately we continue with the same pattern of violence and impunity." Rock, also director of the news portal La Silla Rota added that "So long as we have to lament the murder of another journalist in Mexico, we will not cease insisting to the authorities that violence cannot be accepted as a normal and daily occurrence of this society."

Since last December, under the new administration of President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, eight journalists including Romero have been murdered in Mexico: Telésforo Santiago, on May 2 in Oaxaca; Omar Iván Camacho, on Mar. 25 in Sinaloa; Santiago Barroso Alfaro, on Mar. 15 in Sonora; Jesús Eugenio Ramos, on Feb. 9 in Tabasco; Rafael Murúa Manríquez, on Jan. 19 in Baja California Sur; Diego García Corona, on Dec. 4 in Morelos and Jesús Alejandro Márquez, on Dec.1 in Nayarit.

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.