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JOURNALISM IN THE AMERICAS Blog

Mexican journalist shot in Veracruz is in grave condition



Veracruz journalist Rodrigo Acuña is in serious condition after being shot by strangers at the door of his house on the night of Nov. 23 in Mexico. Acuña, director of news site Diario de Tepetzintla and collaborator of La Voz de Tantocuya, covers the crime beat in several municipalities of Veracruz, reported El Sol de México.

Rodrigo Acuña. (Facebook)

When he was attacked by the two armed individuals, the journalist was returning home with his one-year-old son, who was unharmed, Reporters Without Borders (RSF, for its initials in French) published.

The attack severely damaged a lung of the journalist, who underwent surgery for more than three hours in a hospital in the northern part of the state. During the operation, a kidney was removed and they reconstructed the liver, reported La Jornada de Veracruz.

The Prosecutor General of Veracruz reported that it has already started investigations into the case, which is in the charge of the Third Prosecutor's Office of the Integral Unit for the Procurement of Justice, according to El Heraldo de México.

In an official statement issued via Twitter, the State Commission for the Care and Protection of Journalists (CEAPP) reported that it is already in contact with the Acuña family, with whom it’s coordinating necessary medical and security measures.

In an interview with La Jornada de Veracruz, the head of the CEAPP indicated that the journalist had not reported any threats or any danger.

However, the reporter from Veracruz has received several insults and threatening comments on his Facebook account. For example, on his profile photo from two years ago, someone wrote to him: "You're on my list, Acuña ...".

The director of the Latin American Office of RSF, Emmanuel Colombié, said that the authorities should conduct a quick and impartial investigation into this assassination attempt.

Colombié noted that his organization has documented the murder of at least 23 journalists in Veracruz since 2000. “It is clear that neither the federal nor local government has understood the gravity of this situation,” he added.

On March 21 of this year, journalist Leobardo Vázquez Atzin was murdered in the city of Gutiérrez Zamora, in Veracruz. Some strangers on a motorcycle entered his home and shot him at close range before fleeing, according to outlet Noreste, of which he was editor and designer.

In its last annual report, the human rights organization Article 19 of Mexico called Veracruz the most dangerous state to practice journalism in the country. Between 2010 and 2016, 17 journalists were killed in Veracruz, according to the organization.



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