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Mexico: Another journalist is killed, third this month

Angel Castillo Corona, a journalist based in Ocuilan, in the central state of Mexico, was beaten to death on the highway from Ocuilan to nearby Tiaguistenco on July 3. His unidentified assailants also killed his 16-year-old son, Paris-based press freedom group Reporters sans Frontières (RSF) has reported.

The press freedom organisation urged the authorities to react to the seemingly endless violence against the media by conducting a thorough debate on how to protect journalists and effectively combat impunity. The organization shares the concern about Mexico’s journalists voiced by UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay, who is currently visiting Mexico.

Castillo was the municipality of Ocuilan’s press officer and a columnist for the regional dailies Puntual and Diario de México, writing about regional politics. The exact circumstances of his death are not clear, but according to the police, he and his son were attacked by men in another car while driving on the freeway between Ocuilan and Tiaguistenco. His son died on the spot when the assailants ran him down with their car. Castillo, who was given a severe beating, died after being taken to the nearby Adolfo López Mateo hospital.

RSF offered its condolences to Castillo’s widow, family and colleagues, called on the police and judicial authorities to carry out a thorough investigation aimed at identifying and punishing those responsible for this shocking double murder, and urged them not to rule out the possibility that was it linked to Castillo’s work as a journalist.

Representative of journalists’ organisations in Toluca and Mexico met July 12 with Mexico state prosecutor general Alfredo Castillo Cervantes, expressing their outrage about Castillo’s murder, which brings the number of journalists killed nationwide since 2000 to 76.

Castillo was the third journalist to be killed in the past month in Mexico. Pablo Ruelas Barraza was killed in the northwestern state of Sonora on June 13. He worked for the Diario del Yaqui in Huatabampo and El Regional de Sonora in Hermosillo. Miguel Ángel López Velasco, a columnist for the local online daily Notiver, was killed in the east coast city of Veracruz on June 20.

The frequency of killings of journalists has turned Mexico into the western hemisphere’s deadliest country for the media. With a total of seven murders in 2010 in which the motive was clearly linked to the victim’s work as journalist, Mexico was last year the world’s second deadliest country for the media, after Pakistan.

During a meeting July 12 with representatives of Mexican and international free speech NGOs, including RSF's Mexico correspondent, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay voiced dismay at the ever-increasing violence against journalists in Mexico and said these crimes could not remain unpunished. Freedom of expression is a priority for her office, she stressed.

Date posted: July 14, 2011 Last modified: May 23, 2018 Total views: 25