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JOURNALISM IN THE AMERICAS Blog

Mexican police reporter who received death threats and survived attack on his life is killed in Guerrero



This story was updated to include new details from the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) concerning protection measures offered to Pineda Birto and the investigation of his murder.

A Mexican police reporter who reported having received threats from organized crime was killed in the state of Guerrero on March 2.

Cecilio Pineda Birto (Facebook)

Two men on a motorcycle shot Cecilio Pineda Birto, director at newspaper La Voz de Tierra Caliente, Thursday evening in Pungarabato in the Tierra Caliente region. The journalist was laying in a hammock at a car wash at the time.

Pineda Birto was seriously injured and died at the scene.

Pineda Birto publicly said for months that "he received constant death threats from groups of organized crime" in the area, Proceso reported.

According to newspaper Zeta, reporters in the region said on social networks that Pineda Birto frequently received threats and that he was previously shot at while arriving home in 2015, but was unhurt.

Pineda Birto reported news on his Facebook page, which has almost 32,000 followers. He also contributed to multiple publications, including national newspaper El Universal, El Debate de los Calentanos, La Voz del Sur and La Jornada Guerrero, according to Sin Embargo.

The security spokesman for the government of Guerrero said the state prosecutor was investigating the crime.

An official with the federal protection mechanism for journalists told the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) that Pineda Birto declined the agency's offer to relocate him and his family, according to a recent statement from CPJ. The freedom of expression organization also said the Federal Special Prosecutor for Crimes Against Freedom of Expression said it will investigate the murder.



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