Journalist becomes 15th media worker killed this year in Mexico

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Fredid Roman was fatally shot in Chilpancingo, the capital of southern Guerrero state.

Journalist Fredid Roman has become the latest media worker killed in Mexico so far this year, bringing the total to at least 15, according to monitoring groups.

Roman, who ran an online local news programme, was fatally shot in the capital of the southern state of Guerrero on Monday.

The killing is the latest in a particularly deadly year for journalists in the country, with monitors tallying 15 killed so far in 2022. At least one media rights group, Article 19, has recorded 19 media workers killed this year, while the government puts the total at just 12.

Roman ran a programme called The Reality of Guerrero which focused heavily on state-level politics. He also wrote a column.

Authorities provided few details on his killing, or if there was evidence it was connected to his journalistic work, although violence by drug gangs, armed vigilantes and other groups is relatively common in Guerrero state.

Shortly before his killing, Roman had posted online about the 2014 disappearance 43 students from the nearby city of Iguala. That came just days after a government truth commission declared the incident, and its coverup, a “crime of the state” that involved the participation and negligence of all layers of government. Authorities have said a local criminal cartel was also involved.

In a lengthy Facebook post, Roman mentioned an alleged meeting between four officials at the time of the students’ disappearance, including former attorney general Jesus Murillo Karam.

Murillo Karam was arrested after the publication of the truth commission report last week, while dozens of warrants were issued for suspects including military personnel, police officers and cartel members.

 

Roman’s killing comes a week after independent journalist Juan Arjon Lopez was found dead in the northern border state of Sonora. Prosecutors said he died from a blow to the head.

Reporters Without Borders (RSF) has recorded 150 journalists killed in Mexico since 2000.

Following Arjon Lopez’s killing, Jan-Albert Hootsen, the Mexico representative for the Committee to Protect Journalists,  said that “although some arrests have been made in earlier cases of press killings this year, an ongoing climate of impunity continues to fuel these attacks”.

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