Miami (January 24, 2022) - The Inter American Press Association (IAPA) condemned and expressed alarm at the murder of Lourdes Maldonado, the third journalist to be killed in Mexico this year.
Under the federal government's journalist protection and safety program, Maldonado, a reporter, and a host was murdered yesterday afternoon in Tijuana, Baja California state. Maldonado was arriving at her home in a vehicle when an individual with a firearm attacked her. Since August 2021, she had been broadcasting on Radio Sintoniza Sin Fronteras, and through social media, she directed the program "Brebaje," in which she addressed local news.
Jorge Canahuati, president of the IAPA, condemned the new murder and expressed solidarity and condolences to his family members and Mexican journalists. "Each murder of a colleague reflects the seriousness of the violence against journalists in the country," said Canahuati, CEO of Grupo Opsa, Honduras.
Carlos Jornet, chairman of the IAPA's Committee on Freedom of the Press and Information and editor of the Argentine newspaper La Voz del Interior, added that crimes against journalists in Mexico "are a pressing problem that requires urgent attention and exemplary sentences to stop the scourge of impunity."
Canahuati and Jornet reiterated their criticism of the ineffectiveness of the protection program, "especially when, as in this case, it concerns a journalist who had publicly expressed that she feared for her life."
During a morning conference held by President Andrés Manuel López Obrador in 2019, Maldonado said she had received death threats related to a legal dispute against the former governor of the state, Jaime Bonilla Valdez. She worked for six years in his media company, Primer Sistema de Noticias (PSN).
Because of the litigation, Maldonado had the protection of the federal government's journalists program. According to local media, she had a panic button on her cell phone. Last week she publicly shared that she had won the lawsuit against the former governor.
She had more than 50 years of experience, worked, among other media, for the Organización Editorial Mexicana (OEM); newspapers La Prensa, El Sol de Tijuana and Esto, of Tijuana, and in Televisa.
On January 17, photojournalist Margarito Martínez was also murdered in Tijuana, and on January 10, journalist José Luis Gamboa Arenas, director of the digital media Inforegio, was murdered in Veracruz.
According to IAPA records, between 2005 and 2020 another 15 women journalists and media workers were murdered in Mexico: María Elena Ferral, Diario de Xalapa and Quinto Poder, March 30, 2020, Veracruz; Norma Sarabia, Semanario Chontalpa, June 11, 2019, Tabasco; Pamela Montenegro, Denuncias Acapulco Sin Censura, February 5, 2018, Guerrero; Miroslava Breach, La Jornada, March 23, 2017, Chihuahua; Anabel Flores, Sol de Orizaba, February 8, 2016, Veracruz; Zamira Esther Bautista, freelance journalist, June 20, 2016, Tamaulipas; María del Rosario Fuentes Rubio, Valor por Tamaulipas, October 16, 2014, Tamaulipas; Regina Martínez, Proceso, April 28, 2012, Veracruz; Elizabeth Macías Castro, Primera Hora, September 24, 2011, Tamaulipas; Yolanda Ordaz de la Cruz, Notiver, July 27, 2011, Veracruz; María Elvira Hernández Galeana, freelance journalist, June 28, 2010, Guerrero; Felicitas Martínez Sánchez, Radio Copala, April 7, 2008, Oaxaca; Teresa Bautista Merino, Radio Copala, April 7, 2008, Oaxaca; Flor Vásquez López, El Imparcial del Istmo, October 8, 2007, Oaxaca; and Dolores García Escamilla, Stereo 91, April 16, 2005, Tamaulipas.
IAPA is a non-profit organization dedicated to defending and promoting freedom of the press and expression in the Americas. It comprises more than 1,300 publications from the western hemisphere; and is based in Miami, Florida, United States.