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JOURNALISM IN THE AMERICAS Blog

Killing of Mexican journalist sparks human rights ombudsman’s investigation





Miguel Ángel Guzmán Garduño. Image via Facebook.

Mexico’s National Human Rights Commission will investigate the Jan. 23 murder of a journalist in Guerrero. It is the first killing of a journalist in Mexico this year.

Miguel Ángel Guzmán Garduño, an opinion columnist for the daily paper Vértice, was found dead in his Chilpancingo home after being robbed of his possessions, according to Diario de Guerrero. Authorities say Guzmán died from blows days before being discovered. The crime’s motive remains as yet unknown but authorities said the probable motive was the theft of electrical and domestic appliances and his car. 

Guzmán was a primary school teacher, as well as a journalist. He had also worked as the head of public relations for the state of Guerrero’s public sector workers’ union (SUSPEG).

Independent of the motive, the CNDH insisted in a press statement concerning the case that the state’s obligation is to prevent acts that endanger freedom of expression.

“Federal and state authorities have the obligation to conduct a timely and effective investigation into threats against journalists in order to counter impunity and stop the deterioration of freedom of expression,” the CNDH said.

Mexico’s human rights ombudsman Raúl Plascencia Villanueva ordered his officials to visit the crime scene to analyze what happened and conduct their own investigation.

According to the CNDH, 87 journalists or media workers have been killed as a result of their work since 2000. In 2013 two reporters were murdered in Mexico, according to organization Reporters Without Borders (RSF).

This post was translated by human rights investigator and journalist Patrick Timmons, editor of the Mexican Journalism Translation Project (MxJTP). Follow him on Twitter @patricktimmons



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