Another Mexican Journalist Shot and Killed, Suspects Arrested

Опубликовано: 15 Февраль 2022

Heber López Vásquez

Heber López VásquezHeber López Vásquez, 39, was shot as he was entering his home in Salina Cruz, Oaxaca, becoming the fifth journalist killed in Mexico in a month. (Photo: RCP Noticias, twitter, License)

Mexican authorities have arrested two people after the murder of a Mexican journalist who has now become the fifth reporter in a month to be killed most likely over his work in what the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) called the deadliest country for journalists in the Western Hemisphere.

Heber López Vásquez, 39, was shot as he was entering his home in Salina Cruz, Oaxaca. He was a founder and editor of NoticiasWeb and RCP Noticias, and previously worked as reporter for the Meganoticias broadcaster. Oaxaca-based news website Página 3 reported he’s been a journalist for about 18 years.

The day before he was shot, López published a short article accusing Arminda Espinosa Cartas, a former municipal official in Salina Cruz, of corruption. He alleged that she had pressured locals to vote for her in municipal elections next month.

The CPJ said on Saturday that Prosecutor César González confirmed to them that police had caught and arrested two suspects.

Multiple media reported that one of the arrested could be Espinosa Cartas’ brother, only identified as “Ricardo N.” CPJ said they had asked González if that was accurate, but he refused to comment.

Oaxaca state prosecutor, Arturo Peimbert, told media that he “could not provide details on a motive of the killing, but did not exclude the possibility that López was targeted for his work.”

López is the fifth journalist killed in Mexico since mid-January, in addition to reporters José Luis Gamboa and Lourdes Maldonado, photographer Margarito Martínez, and media worker Roberto Toledo in Zitácuaro.

“With the brutal killing of Heber López, the fifth such attack in less than six weeks, Mexico continues an unprecedented and shocking string of deadly attacks against journalists,” CPJ’s Mexico representative, Jan-Albert Hootsen, said.

“These killings will only stop with genuine, decisive actions by Mexican authorities, who must determine whether López was killed because of his work and bring all those involved to justice,” he added.