Mexican journalist, Israel Vázquez was shot in Salamanca on Monday moments before going live. He died in the hospital later the same day.
Vázquez worked for digital news outlet El Salmantino and was covering a “discovery of human remains” in the city of Salamanca, in the central state of Guanajuato.
A special team is investigating the 31-year-old journalist’s death and no arrests have been made so far as reported by the attorney general. El Salmantino released a statement on Facebook urging for a swift investigation.
“Today our colleague, Israel Vázquez, while working as a reporter, was the target of a vile and cowardly attack that took his life,” read the statement. “All of us who work at El Salmantino condemn not just this one attack, but all of those that occur daily in the city of Salamanca.”
According to the Committee to Protect of Journalists (CPJ), Vázquez is the third journalist killed in Mexico in less than a month. This ranks the country as the deadliest in the world for this profession.
Two reporters covering protests in the city of Cancun, Quintana Roo state, late Monday, were treated for gunshot wounds. At least two more reporters were beaten by police, added CPJ.
Twenty journalists were murdered in 2019 as reported by CPJ.
The journalists hunting continues in #Mexico where Israel Vazquez Rangel became the 9th Mexican journalist murdered since the beginning of 2020 and the third in just 10 days. Arturo Alba Medina @ Jess Alfonso Piauelas were killed on 29/10 and 2/11 https://t.co/79VPLOKD37
— RSF in English (@RSF_en) November 10, 2020
Jan-Albert Hootsen, CPJ’s Mexico representative, told sources in September, “The cycle of violence and impunity continues to incentivize anyone who wants to attack the press to do so without any fear of being arrested, prosecuted and sentenced.”
Violent crimes in Mexico have escalated in the recent past years. According to government statistics, 93% of all crimes went unresolved in 2018.
Last year Mexico recorded more than 35,000 homicides. This number exceeds the previous high of 33,341 in 2018. Most of the incidents are linked to drug cartel violence.
Reuters reported that the state recorded 2,250 homicides from January till August. This shows an increase of more than 25% compared to the same period last year.