Mexico City, Mexico — Four journalists who were reporting on the murder of a public transport driver in Chilpancingo, Guerrero, eastern Mexico, were shot at by an unknown assailant, local media reported. The attempted murder left two reporters injured and hospitalized.
On November 28, the State Prosecutor’s Office announced that the four journalists were shot at immediately after covering the murder of a bus driver. Reportedly, the journalists were on their way to a nearby military outpost to safely report on the murder when someone on a motorcycle fired upon them.
Two of the journalists are in critical condition, while another was grazed by a bullet in the arm. The fourth journalist was unharmed in the attack.
According to the Attorney General’s Office, a joint operation involving state and local police, the National Guard, and the Army is being carried out to find the assailant.
The governor of the state, Evelyn Salgado, visited the hospital where the journalists are being treated and assured a direct line of communication with the injured and their families until those responsible are found.
The victims of the attack are Óscar Guerrero, photojournalist for Primer Plano; Víctor Mateo, reporter for Ahora Guerrero; Jesús de la Cruz, reporter for El Jaguar; and another journalist whose name is being withheld for security reasons.
The non-profit organization Article 19 expressed its condolences to those affected and recalled that since November 17, it was reported that alleged members of organized crime had threatened several journalists in Guerrero; among those threatened was Victor Mateo.
Guerrero has a long history of violence and impunity. By mid-2023, homicides had increased by 20% in the state, with the violence reported in Guerrero only showcasing the collusion between the government and organized crime.
The violence present in the region, coupled with a government vulnerable to corruption, has made those who document crime in the region, such as journalists, vulnerable.
In 2023, two journalists were murdered in Guerrero; there have been nine murders of journalists this year in Mexico.
Between 2000 and 2022, at least 161 journalists have been murdered in Mexico in alleged connection with their work, according to Article 19.