The IAPA Condemns the Murder of a Journalist in Mexico and Calls for it not to Remain Unpunished


Miami (April 29, 2024) - The Inter American Press Association (IAPA) condemned the kidnapping and subsequent murder of journalist Roberto Carlos Figueroa Bustos in Mexico. The organization urged the authorities to conduct a thorough investigation, prosecute those responsible, and put an end to the cycle of impunity that characterizes crimes against reporters in Mexico.

Figueroa Bustos, director, and host of the digital media outlet "Acá en El Show," was kidnapped in the central state of Morelos on Friday, April 26 in the morning, after dropping off his daughters at school. Although the family paid a ransom demanded by the captors, the reporter's body was found dead in the afternoon inside a car in an area of intense activity by criminal groups, according to press reports. Bustos, 40, used to publish critical content about the government and local politics.

The Attorney General of Morelos, Uriel Carmona Gándara, reported that the journalist's murder could be related to his journalistic activity, according to press reports.

Roberto Rock, president of the IAPA, lamented Bustos' murder and expressed "total solidarity with the journalist's family and colleagues." Rock, director of the Mexican portal La Silla Rota, added: "We urge the authorities to thoroughly investigate the crime until they find those responsible and bring them to justice, so that this case does not become another statistic of the impunity that surrounds most crimes against journalists in Mexico."

Meanwhile, the president of the IAPA's Committee on Press Freedom and Information, Carlos Jornet, emphasized that "there is no doubt that Mexico remains one of the most dangerous countries for journalism." Jornet, editorial director of the Argentine newspaper La Voz del Interior, added that "just over a month away from the general elections in Mexico, it is essential that local journalists can carry out their work without fear of physical reprisals."

According to the report on Mexico presented on April 17 during the IAPA's midyear meeting, "criminal groups and factors of local political power are the main source of insecurity."

Figueroa Bustos' murder is the first registered this year against a journalist in Mexico, according to IAPA records. The last crime in 2023 occurred on November 16, against photojournalist Ismael Villagómez of El Heraldo de Juárez in Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua. But in 2024, there has already been an arson attack against Yolanda Caballero in Tijuana, Baja California; an attempted murder from which journalist Andrés Salas escaped unharmed in Cuautla, Morelos, but his brother was injured, and his driver was killed; and the 48-hour kidnapping of Jaime Barrera in Guadalajara, Jalisco.

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.