Rene Orta Salgado, a reporter who had worked for a local newspaper has been found dead in his car trunk, making him the latest addition on the list of journalists killed in Mexico.
So far this year, four other journalists have been murdered in the Mexican port city of Veracruz.
Salgado went missing for two days and his body was later found 90 kilometers from Mexico City. According to officials, his body did not have any apparent gunshot wounds and his face was covered by a bandana. But local media reported that his body showed signs of torture and he was choked to death.
According to the International Press Institute Death Watch, 10 journalists were killed last year, making Mexico the most dangerous country in the world to work as a reporter. Many of the killers walk away without facing prosecution and these numbers have not improved considerably despite the government's claim to provide protection to journalists.
Salgado had worked for a local newspaper before he quit his job and started a group to promote Institutional Revolutionary Party presidential candidate Enrique Peno Nieto to boost his chances of getting elected in the upcoming elections in July.
Attacks on media have escalated since President Felipe Calderon intensified the fight against drug cartels in Mexico. Many journalists have lost their lives due to the drug-related violence especially in the Mexican city of Veracruz. Just last week, four journalists were found dead in a canal in Veracruz, where drug wars have gone deadly. According to Committee to Protect Journalists, 80 percent of the journalists who were killed were covering crime stories and another 32 percent were covering corruption.
Mexico’s National Human Right Commission condemned the killings and called for stringent laws to protect journalists and also reforms so that the killers undergo a trial and justice is served.
An autopsy has been ordered to find the real cause behind Salgado’s death.
Timeline: (2012 and 2011)
- Regina Martinez was beaten and strangled to death on April 28 in Mexico’s state of Veracruz.
- Guillermo Luna Varela was a crime photographer who was killed and her body parts were found in a plastic bag in a canal. Two other journalists, Gabriel Huge Córdova and Esteban Rodríguez Rodríguez, dismembered bodies were also recovered in the same canal on May 3.
- Around 102 journalists were killed in 2011, out of which 10 were from Mexico.
Source: International Press Institute