In what has become one of world's deadliest countries for the press a Mexican radio journalist was shot dead on February 9th in a restaurant in Tabasco state, east of the capital, Mexico City. According to an official from the local prosecutor's office speaking to AFP, the victim, Jesus Ramos Rodriguez, was killed in Emiliano Zapata, town, where he hosted a news bulletin for the 99.9 FM radio station for more than two decades. Eyewitnesses quoted by El Universal, a leading Mexican newspaper, said his assailant got out of a car, walked straight up to him and shot him more than eight times at point blank range.
In a spiral of attacks on media personnel, this killing came weeks after a community radio station director was murdered in the northern state of Baja California Sur. In the first such case of 2019, Rafael Murua, who had received death threats as a result of his work, was found dead in a ditch on January 20th after being reported missing. Notably, Murua, 34, was under the Mexican government's protection programme for journalists and rights activists.
Mexico has registered 100 journalists murdered since 2000, with 10 killed last year alone. Assassinations have been fuelled by the country's drug war and political corruption.
In December 2018, watchdog group Reporters Without Borders ranked Mexico the third-most-dangerous country for reporters after war-torn Afghanistan and Syria. The vast majority of cases have gone unpunished, as do more than 90% of violent crimes in Mexico. As Javier Valdez, a famous journalist killed in 2017, wrote, "The greatest error is to live in Mexico and to be a journalist."