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Tamaulipas reporter Antonio de la Cruz from the Ciudad Victoria newspaper Expreso was shot dead on Wednesday, June 29, while leaving his home, becoming the 12th journalist to be killed so far this year in Mexico.

De la Cruz, who had been working at Expreso for more than 25 years, was, at that time, accompanied by his 23-year-old daughter, who was also seriously injured during the attack.

The murder was allegedly perpetrated by a masked man on a motorcycle, who immediately fled the scene.

Later Wednesday, Tamaulipas Attorney General Irving Barrios Mojica reported that initial investigations had indicated that De la Cruz and his daughter were shot inside the reporter’s car as they were leaving their home.

Barrios Mojica also said that a 40-caliber weapon was used in the attack, a weapon that in Mexico is designated for the exclusive use by the Army.

On his social media accounts, Tamaulipas Governor Francisco García Cabeza de Vaca condemned the murder, sending his condolences to family and friends, and adding that he had asked the state prosecutor’s office to make sure that “this cowardly crime does not go unpunished.”

Later, in statements to the media, García Cabeza de Vaca said: “We are not going to allow events of this nature to try to silence journalism in Tamaulipas. The state has come a long way to allow a situation of this nature to attempt to silence journalists.”

In Mexico, 2022 is positioned to become the most violent year for the press since 2017, when 12 murders of journalists were recorded throughout the year.

On average, two journalists have been killed each month so far this year in Mexico.

And since Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) took office in December 2018, the federal government has registered more than 50 murders of journalists.

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