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The Inter American Press Association (IAPA) asked Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador on Monday to take urgent measures against the growing violence suffered by the media in the country, after the murder of four Mega Radio Networks workers in Ciudad Juárez.
The president of the IAPA, Jorge Canahuati, and the head of the organization’s Committee on Freedom of the Press and Information, Carlos Jornet, asked the Mexican government to implement immediate measures to tackle the problem.
“It is time for the government of President Andrés Manuel López Obrador to urgently establish concrete measures to curb the violence, the impunity of these crimes, and guarantee the protection of journalists during the exercise of their trade”, they emphasized in a statement.
The petition to the Mexican Executive comes after the assassination of Allan González, host of the radio program Switch 105.9 FM on August 11; Lino Flores, from the Promotions area; Armando Guerrero, Operations Manager, and Alex Arriaga, bodyguard.
The radio team was broadcasting live from the parking lot of a pizzeria in Ciudad Juarez, in the state of Chihuahua, when members of organized crime perpetrated violent attacks against civilians and businesses in the city.
“We join in the general condemnation and consternation of these new crimes which highlight the state of terror in which citizens live affecting, particularly, the Mexican press,” Canahuati said, executive president of the Opsa group.
According to local media, several shooters got out of a pickup truck and shot at the pizzeria’s customers. When they saw the radio station’s pickup truck, they headed toward the Mega Radio Networks employees.
“We urge the authorities to investigate the crime quickly and thoroughly, to find those responsible and bring them to justice,” Jornet pointed out, journalistic director of the Argentine daily La Voz del Interior.
He also regretted that Mexico “has become an example not to be followed in dealing with murders of journalists.”
The IAPA recalls that Mexico is going through one of the bloodiest years for the press, in addition to the four colleagues of Mega Radio killed last week, 13 other journalists were murdered in the country so far in 2022.
The list includes Ernesto Méndez, Antonio de la Cruz, Sheila Johana García Olivera, Yessenia Mollinedo Falconi, Luis Enrique Ramírez, Armando Linares, Juan Carlos Muñiz, Jorge Camero, Heber López Vásquez, Roberto Toledo, Lourdes Maldonado, Margarito Martínez and José Luis Gamboa.
The IAPA, based in Miami (Florida), posthumously granted its 2022 Grand Press Freedom Award to journalists who have died in the practice of their profession in Mexico since October 2021.