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JOURNALISM IN THE AMERICAS Blog

Correspondent killed in Chihuahua is third Mexican journalist killed in the month of March



Journalist Miroslava Breach Velducea, 54, was killed on the morning of March 23 after receiving at least four shots to the head. The journalist was leaving her home in the capital city of Chihuahua state and getting into her vehicle when a group of strangers approached her and began shooting, according to newspaper Norte in Ciudad Juárez.

Miroslava Breach (Facebook)

Her death adds to the two Mexican journalists already killed in Mexico this month. On March 2, Cecilio Pineda Birto, director of newspaper La Voz de Tierra Caliente, was killed in the state of Guerrero. And earlier this week, on March 19, journalist Ricardo Monlui Cabrera was gunned down by strangers in front of his family in Yanga, Veracruz.

State police reported that Breach Velducea’s murder happened around 6:53 a.m. Three 9 mm shells were found at the scene, according to Commissioner Óscar Alberto Aparicio Avendaño, as reported by El Diario de Juárez.

Attorney General César Augusto Peniche said the main line of investigation in Breach’s murder is her professional work, according to El Diario.

The newspaper reported that the prosecutor also said that he was surprised by “the cowardly way” in which she was killed, since she never requested protection from the authorities nor denounced having received threats against her.

The Office of the Attorney General of the Republic (PGR for its initials in Spanish), through the Office of the Specialized Prosecutor for Crimes Against Freedom of Expression (FEADLE) started an investigation into the case. For the investigation, the PGR will work with a group of agents from the Public Prosecutor’s Office and forensic experts, according to Zócalo.

With more than 20 years of experience as a journalist, Breach investigated political and security issues. She was a correspondent in Chihuahua for La Jornada and El Diario de Chihuahua, as well as editorial director for Norte in Ciudad Juárez. She was planning to open her own news agency, called MIR, according to El Diario.

For newspaper Norte, the motives of Breach’s murder are the exercise of her professional activity. In a moving editorial, the newspaper urged authorities, specifically the current governor of Chihuahua Javier Corral Jurado, to ensure that this crime does not go unpunished and that those responsible are brought to justice.

“Miroslava was an exemplary journalist, rigorous in her professional work, upright, of great values, a fighting woman (...) Clinging to her ideals, today we raise a demand for justice for a death that should not have occurred, for a family that has been orphaned, for an injured profession, undermined by criminal and institutional violence,” Norte published in the editorial.

The state of Chihuahua is currently experiencing a wave of violence. Recently, the Mexican Army and Federal Police conducted a coordinated action in the mountainous area of Chihuahua that borders the states of Durango and Sinaloa, to try to contain the violence, according to Sin Embargo.

Jesús Adrián Rodríguez, journalist at station Antena Radio Chihuahua, was killed in the state on Dec. 10, 2016, also while Corral Jurado was in office.



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