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Journalist Fredy López Arévalo was a former Central America correspondent for El Universal and El Financiero. Journalist Fredy López was a former Central America correspondent for El Universal and El Financiero.

Lone gunman shoots, kills veteran journalist in Chiapas

Fredy López had a long career in journalism, starting as a reporter in Chiapas at 21

A veteran journalist was shot and killed in San Cristóbal de las Casas, Chiapas, on Thursday, becoming the ninth journalist to be murdered in Mexico this year.

A lone gunman shot Fredy López Arévalo, a former Central America correspondent for the newspapers El Universal and El Financiero, at the door of his home at approximately 8:00 p.m. The aggressor subsequently fled on a motorcycle.

The 57-year-old journalist, a Chiapas native who was the editor of a local magazine and a radio presenter before his death, returned to San Cristóbal with his wife and children on Thursday evening after celebrating his mother’s birthday in Tuxtla Gutiérrez.

The Chiapas Attorney General’s Office said Friday that police and forensic experts attended the scene of the crime and found the lifeless body of López, who suffered a single gunshot wound.

“The state Attorney General’s Office regrets this reprehensible act and affirms its commitment to continuing with the investigations until the facts are clarified,” it said.

Chiapas Governor Rutilio Escandón condemned “the cowardly murder” and pledged that it won’t go unpunished.

“Investigations are underway. My solidarity with his family and friends,” he wrote on Twitter.

López had a long career in journalism, starting as a newspaper reporter in Chiapas at the age of 21. In the late 1980s and early 1990s he covered events in Central America including the first International Conference on Central American Refugees in Guatemala City in 1989 and the defeat of Daniel Ortega and the Sandinistas at the 1990 general election in Nicaragua.

López also reported on monumental events in Mexico such as the 1985 Mexico City earthquake and the 1994 Zapatista uprising in Chiapas.

His killing followed the murders earlier this year of the journalists Benjamín Morales Hernández in Sonora, Gustavo Sánchez in Oaxaca, Enrique García in México state, Saúl Tijerina in Coahuila, Abraham Mendoza in Michoacán, Ricardo López in Sonora, Jacinto Romero in Veracruz and Manuel González in Morelos.

At least eight journalists were killed in Mexico last year, which made the country the most dangerous in the world for journalists, according to Reporters Without Borders.

In the first half of 2021, individuals and companies in the Mexican media were victims of 362 acts of aggression, according to the press freedom advocacy organization Article 19.

The federal government has faced criticism for not doing enough to protect journalists from the threat of violence, while President López Obrador has been accused of inciting violence via his frequent attacks on the press.

With reports from El País and El Universal 

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