Journalist Jesús Ramos was murdered Saturday in Tabasco. Journalist Jesús Ramos was murdered Saturday in Tabasco.

Lone gunman shoots and kills longtime Tabasco journalist

Jesús Ramos was the host of a long-running and popular radio program

A veteran journalist was killed Saturday in Tabasco.

The host of a popular radio program, Jesús Ramos Rodríguez, known to friends and listeners as “Chuchín,” was shot and killed at a restaurant in Emiliano Zapata.

The journalist was having breakfast with a former mayor of the municipality among others. The current mayor was also expected to join but had not yet arrived when the gunman arrived in a vehicle, went straight up to Ramos and shot him eight times.

The Tabasco Attorney General said the special prosecutor for crimes against freedom of expression had been asked to help investigate the murder.

The federal government, Tabasco Governor Adán Augusto López Hernández and the newspaper Tabasco Hoy were among many who lamented the murder, recognizing Ramos’s work over the last 20 years.

Presidential spokesman Jesús Ramírez Cuevas wrote on Twitter that the executive will “strengthen the measures of protection for human rights defenders and journalists; freedom of expression is a right and fundamental element for democracy, justice and freedom.”

Ramos, 59, is the second journalist to be murdered in Mexico this year. Rafael Murúa Manríquez, 34, was found dead on January 20 in Baja California Sur. The young reporter was the director of a multi-city community radio station and a regular contributor to a local newspaper.

Prior to his death, Murúa Manríquez received several death threats, presumably related to his investigative work to expose corruption and nepotism in local politics. It is not yet known whether Ramos received similar threats for his work, though the state of Tabasco is widely considered to be one of the most dangerous for journalists due to widespread corruption in government and the presence of drug cartels and fuel theft.

The murder of journalists has become increasingly common in the last two decades. In 2017, 11 journalists, including veteran reporters Javier Valdez in Sinaloa and Miroslava Breach in Chihuahua, were silenced in killings linked to their work. Last year saw the murders of nine more.

Mexico is often cited as one of the most dangerous countries for journalists. Interior Secretary Olga Sánchez Cordero has promised to provide more federal protections for journalists since she took office in December.

Source: El País (sp)

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