Murdered Mexican journalist Lourdes Maldonado. Photo: Google
By THE PULSE NEWS MEXICO STAFF
Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) said Tuesday, Jan. 26, that he has ordered a full investigation into the murder of journalist Lourdes Maldonado of Tijuana’s Semanario del Séptimo Día, who was shot dead was on Sunday, Jan. 23, after allegedly receiving numerous death threats and winning a nine-year legal dispute against former Baja California Governor Jaime Bonilla four days earlier.
Speaking during his daily press conference at the National Palace, AMLO said that Maldonado, who had in 2019 called on the president to provide her police protection against Bonilla, a close friend and political ally of López Obrador, had been under state police protection.
“Last year, she requested protection from the government of Baja California and that protection was granted,” AMLO said.
“But she was not registered in the federal government’s protection program for journalists. This should be known. But in any case, we are obliged to investigate this crime and prevent the murders of journalists and citizens from continuing.”
At least 146 journalists have been killed in Mexico over the last two decades, and 30 since López Obrador took office in December 2018.
According to the international watchdog agency Freedom House, Mexico is the most dangerous country in the world for journalists outside war zones.
Moreover, less than 10 percent of cases of attacks on journalists are ever prosecuted in Mexico, and of those that are, less than 5 percent of the alleged perpetrators are found guilty.
AMLO said that he had given instructions for a thorough investigation to be carried out, “so that this and other crimes do not go unpunished.”
In keeping with true AMLO style, the president also took the opportunity to criticize his political opponents, who he called “very hypocritical and dishonest,” saying that they are exploiting the recent surge in journalist murders to attack his government.
Maldonado was the second journalist to be killed in Tijuana in less than a week and the third nationally so far this year.