Mexican journalist Ciro Gómez Leyva, presenter of Imagen Televisión’s nightly news broadcast, was shot at by gunmen as he drove through Mexico City on Thursday night.
The journalist survived the attack thanks to the fact that he was driving an armored vehicle, provided by the television station for the short nightly journey between the studio and his house.
“At 11:10 pm, 200 meters from my house, two people on a motorcycle shot at me, apparently with the clear intention of killing me,” Gómez Leyva said on Twitter. “I was saved by the armor of my truck that I was driving and I have informed the authorities of the matter.”
Despite a sleepless night, Gómez Leyva was back on air Friday morning, conducting interviews and thanking listeners for their support.
The journalist explained on his radio program that Imagen Televisión had put the armored vehicle at his disposal in 2017, after he received a threat in relation to his reporting on Mexico City’s Northern Prison. However, he stated that he has received no more recent threats, and the motive for Thursday’s attack remains unclear.
President López Obrador criticized Gómez Leyva in his Wednesday morning press conference along with two other journalists – Carlos Loret de Mola and Serigo Sarmiento -whom he described as “dishonest”. However on Friday, the president put aside his political differences with Gómez Leyva to send his best wishes to the presenter.
“The most important thing is to express our solidarity, to tell Ciro he is not alone,” he said. “We have our differences, they are notorious, they are in the public domain, we will continue to have them, but it is completely reprehensible that the life of any person is threatened.”
“There were no serious or fatal consequences, and we celebrate that because he is a journalist, a human being, a leader of public opinion, and a harm to a personality like Ciro causes a lot of political instability,” AMLO added.
He went on to emphasize that Mexico City authorities are investigating the incident and have already identified the motorcycle involved.
The attack on Gómez Leyva comes just one week after a press release by the International Federation of Journalists revealed that Mexico remains the deadliest country for journalists outside of war zones. Eleven media professionals have been killed in the country during 2022 so far, just one fewer than in Ukraine.