A television host from Veracruz has become the sixth media worker to be murdered so far this year.
The body of Michell Pérez Tadeo, 29, better known as Michell Simón, was found on Monday by workers fighting a fire on the Picacho-Ajusco highway near Santo Tomás Ajusco, 30 kilometers south of Mexico City.
Pérez, the single mother to a four-year-old girl who called herself a “happy mom,” had been reported missing three days earlier.
The actress and model from Coatzacoalcos worked principally in sports coverage for the Veracruz channel Olmeca TV and moved to Mexico City in 2013. She was studying to be a sports presenter and worked on the program Hoy Fútbol (Football Today) on Aym Sports and on the radio channel Grupo Acir. She also collaborated with Fox Sports, TV Azteca and Televisa.
Pérez took strong positions on women’s rights issues: last year, she posted “Ni Una Más” on social media, meaning not one more, a popular phrase used to call for an end to femicides.
Jan Albert Hootsen of the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) said he doubts Pérez was killed for her work. “For now, we are not seeing the case as an attack on the press, since apparently the victim was not practicing journalism at the time. Rather, it has the characteristics of a femicide,” he said.
United States Secretary of State Anthony Blinken posted on Twitter on Tuesday regarding the murders of journalists. “The high number of journalists killed in Mexico this year and the ongoing threats they face are concerning,” he wrote.
However, President López Obrador claimed on Wednesday that the secretary of state had been misinformed.