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Second Mexican journalist killed in two months

by Panagiotis Argitis - Editor-In-Chief
Tue, Feb 19th 2019 04:00 pm
killing the media Mexican journalist Jesus Eugenio Ramos Rodriguez, was shot and killed while in a restaurant early on Saturday, Feb 9. Rodriguez worked in a country where being a journalist can lead to losing your life. In 2018, multiple journalists were killed over what many speculate to be a rebellion against cartels and the government. These journalists are met with acts of violence in an attempt to stop them from promoting truth to the Mexican public. This is just one of the more severe obstacles journalists are facing today.
killing the media Mexican journalist Jesus Eugenio Ramos Rodriguez, was shot and killed while in a restaurant early on Saturday, Feb 9. Rodriguez worked in a country where being a journalist can lead to losing your life. In 2018, multiple journalists were killed over what many speculate to be a rebellion against cartels and the government. These journalists are met with acts of violence in an attempt to stop them from promoting truth to the Mexican public. This is just one of the more severe obstacles journalists are facing today.

Increasingly, journalists have been tackling issues that challenge government officials and their decisions. While freedom of expression is regarded as the foundation and supporting structure to democracy, many of those who seek to promote truth often find themselves in conflict with higher powers.

For example, CNN’s reporter Jim Acosta faced a revoke of his accessibility to the White House following an interview confrontation with President Donald Trump. Acosta’s exchange with the president occurred during a press conference at the White House back in November of 2018. Trump used his powers to revoke the reporter’s White House pass after he and his administration were asked ‘tough questions’ that they refused to answer.

The incident involving Acosta and President Trump is only one of many. Actions taken against journalists and reporters who question those in power have only increased as of late and while Acosta’s White House pass was restored, others in his position are a lot less fortunate.

South of the United States in Mexico’s state of Tabasco, radio host and journalist Jesus Eugenio Ramos Rodriguez was shot and killed on Saturday, Feb. 9. The journalist was shot at a restaurant in the early hours of the day. Police still have no leads on a suspect. While reports from the local authorities say the motive of the crime is still unknown, Rodriguez was not the only Mexican journalist to be murdered as of recent.

Rodriguez’s life is now the second one claimed of Mexican journalists in 2019, with the first case being radio station director of Baja California Sur, Rafael Murua. According to Country Director of Reporters Without Borders (RWB) Balbina Flores, Murua received multiple death threats at his job from the local mayor and others in the community prior to his murder.

Despite being enrolled in RWB internationally known as RSF, a global program with the mission of protecting free press and journalists, Murua had his life taken away due to violent backlash against freedom of expression. The lives of Murua and Rodriguez have marked what seems to be only the beginning of resentment against media practice in 2019, as in the year prior the same incidents took place.

According to cnn.com, 2018 saw nine Mexican journalist get killed from violent acts and brought Mexico itself to fourth place for the deadliest country for journalists to operate in.

With crime relating to political feuds and illegal drug handling being present in the country for years, Mexico has “registered more than 100 journalists' murders since 2000,” according to ndtv.com.

Despite the state of Mexican relations with organized crime and political disarray, it is the duty of journalists like Murua and Rodriguez to serve their purpose in reporting and providing the general public with the facts surrounding any and all incidents. Even the ones surrounding sensitive issues.

With that said, journalists based in Mexico and other parts of the world that might suffer from internal corruption are incapable of free expression when they are faced with death threats and other acts of violence. Along with that, the crimes committed against them are almost never brought to justice, according to nytimes.com, “90 percent of crimes [toward journalists in Mexico] have gone unpunished.”

A combined total of 54 journalists were killed in 2018 due to confirmed motives, as reported by the Committee to Protect Journalist, a number that has only been climbing since the turn of the century.

The reality for a modern day journalist is bright and serves a grand purpose in society, yet is increasingly getting more dangerous to practice.

Putting a stop to the repeating nature of press backlash is critical in maintaining the fifth pillar of democracy; freedom of expression.