Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Reporter killed upon arriving at Guanajuato crime scene

A journalist who arrived before police at a crime scene in Salamanca was killed Monday by the armed men he encountered there.

Israel Vázquez Rangel, 31, a reporter with the digital newspaper El Salmantino, was shot and while attempting to cover the discovery of a body in the Villa Salamanca 400 neighborhood.

His vehicle bore the newspaper’s logo.

According to authorities, Vázquez was preparing to do a live broadcast from the scene when he was shot at least eight times.

When the National Guard arrived, they found him seriously wounded. He was taken by ambulance to a nearby hospital, where he died.

At the scene, the state Attorney General’s Office located several spent ammunition shells.

El Salamantino officials condemned the attack and demanded that local, state, and federal authorities find those responsible. The newspaper issued a statement saying that citizens in Salamanca needed to feel a sense of safety, as did “all the journalists who every day put their lives at risk to do this noble work.”

In a press release, the state Attorney General’s Office said that it had already assigned its specialized homicide unit to investigate the case.

Governor Diego Sinhue Rodríguez Vallejo and the Salamanca council both made statements condemning Vázquez’s killing and calling upon authorities to act swiftly.

“We expect a prompt resolution of the case by the attorney general,” Sinhue said Monday on his Twitter account.

Guanajuato has a state government body that is supposed to address threats and acts of violence against journalists, known as the State Council for Protection of the Human Rights of Activists and Journalists. Soon after the killing was made public, the council issued a statement saying that while it has addressed 30 reports of aggression by journalists in the state since 2018, the killing of a journalist in Guanajuato was unusual.

“We vow that these sorts of incidents will not happen again in Guanajuato. We call upon the authorities to go hand-in-hand with us to end this scourge, this lack of safety, that afflicts Guanajuato,” they said.

Source: El Universal (sp), El Sol de Salamanca (sp)

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