A well known Chihuahua journalist was killed this morning in the state capital, the third to be assassinated in Mexico this month.
Miroslava Breach Velducea, 54, was killed by four gunshots fired at close range while in a vehicle in the Infonavit Nacional neighborhood at 7:00am, said state police in a statement.
She was outside her home when the attack took place, and was about to drive her son to school.
The victim was a correspondent for La Jornada and El Norte de Juárez and had recently launched a news agency.
Journalists converged this afternoon on the state Congress where one, in a move described as unprecedented, was given the microphone to address legislators. César Ibarra condemned the crime and called on lawmakers to consult with journalists in the formulation of new laws for their protection.
Congress has been criticized for considering legislation without input from the profession.
Attorney General César Agosto Peniche Espejel said the chief line of investigation in the case centers around Breach Velducea’s profession. But she had neither sought protection nor made complaints of threats against her, he said.
One newspaper reported a message was left at the scene but authorities have offered no details about it.
The journalist’s death was lamented in the Senate today after the news was announced by a visibly distraught Senator from Chihuahua.
“We are concerned, troubled, outraged and hurt by what happened today: an insidious assassination for which there is no justification, that cannot have any explanation and must have an immediate response from the state of Chihuahua so that those who committed this crime are truly punished,” said Graciela Ortiz.
She hailed the victim as a critical woman who was consistent and honest in her work.
Senators paid tribute with a minute of silence.
United States Ambassador Roberta Jacobson expressed her condolences on Twitter, adding that “this and other crimes against journalists should not go unpunished to the detriment of freedom of the press.”
Chihuahua has seen a surge in violence in recent months. Last weekend alone there were at least 14 murders reported.
Mexico was denounced last month as the most dangerous country in Latin America for journalists. Reporters Without Borders said 99 were assassinated between 2000 and 2016.
Breach Velducea was the third victim this month. Veracruz journalist Ricardo Monlui Cabrera was gunned down last Sunday, and earlier in the month Cecilio Pineda was shot and killed in Guerrero.