The murder of Miroslava Breach on Thursday brings to three the number of journalists killed in Mexico so far this month.
Breach, who reported mainly on security and politics for leading national daily La Jornada and Juárez-based Norte, was gunned down as she left for work in her car in Chihuahua, in northern Mexico, police said. Another vehicle drew up alongside her and she was shot eight times. The 54-year-old died while she was being taken to hospital.
“Miroslava was an exemplary journalist, rigorous in her professional activities, committed, a woman of values and spirit,” wrote Norte in an obituary published on Thursday.
Local journalists staged a protest, covering their mouths with sticking tape
Javier Corral, governor of the state of Chihuahua for the center-right PAN party, visited the scene of the crime, and made a statement to the media there condemning the murder. Local journalists staged a protest, covering their mouths with adhesive tape. They also protested at the state legislature, demanding that police investigate the murder fully.
So far police have given no motive for the killing and have no leads on who was responsible and whether the killer acted alone. Corral, who explained that he had a “close” relationship with Breach, said he had no knowledge that Breach had received death threats recently, although he said that two years ago the journalist said she was “worried” about a number of stories she had written.
Corral confirmed social media reports that a message was left at the crime scene, but would only say: “There are indications this was planned.”
Journalists in Chihuahua have called on the governor to provide them with protection, and have described the state as “lawless.”
The murder came four days after journalist Ricardo Monlui was shot dead in the southern state of Veracruz on March 19.
Since President Enrique Peña Nieto took office in 2012, 30 journalists have been killed in Mexico, says British human rights and freedom of expression organization Article 19.
English version by Nick Lyne.