Oaxaca journalist Gustavo Sánchez was murdered Thursday morning despite having protective measures that had been provided by the state’s Office for the Defense of Human Rights.
Sánchez was killed in the community of Morros de Mazatán, located in the Isthmus of Tehuantepec municipality of Santo Domingo Tehuantepec. He had protective measures in place after he said he had been threatened by the Mayor Vilma Martínez.
According to state police, the victim was riding a motorcycle with another person when they were attacked by a group of armed men. The aggressors fled on foot, leaving Sánchez dead of a gunshot to the head, and his companion wounded.
It was not the first attack on the journalist. A year ago, Sánchez was the target of an armed attack on his home. In testimony to human rights officials, Sánchez blamed the attack on Martínez.
Attorney General Arturo Peimbert said investigators are working with a witness and have evidence of who was responsible for the attack.
The head of the Office for the Defense of Human Rights said the authorities’ efforts to protect Sánchez would be evaluated.
Just before Sánchez’s death came the news of another journalist killed in the city of Metepec in México state. Enrique García was killed around midnight on Wednesday in what appears to be a robbery. He was shot while driving home.
In 2020, Mexico ranked as the deadliest country for journalists according to the Committee to Protect Journalists.
“Mexico is suffering a multi-faceted crisis with regard to press freedom. The situation has been getting steadily worse over the past few years, culminating in the country’s abysmal status as the world’s deadliest for reporters in 2020. The crisis principally stems from impunity,” said Jan-Albert Hootsen, CPJ’s Mexico representative in 2020.