Mexican journalist killed 6 weeks after colleague killed – Reuters

But the threat to reporters continued, as Linares seemed to expect.

On January 31, the day Toledo was assassinated, Linares looked straight into the camera and said, “There are names. We know where it all comes from.

“The Monitor Michoacan team received death threats,” he said. “Today, the exposure of the corruption of corrupt governments, corrupt officials and politicians resulted in the death of our friend. »

Shortly thereafter, Linares told the Associated Press that he continued to receive threats, signed up for the federal government’s journalist protection program, and was under the protection of the National Guard.

But on Tuesday evening, he was gunned down at his home in Zitacuaro. According to the prosecutor’s office, his body was found in the doorway with shots in the chest. Authorities seized 9mm shell casings from the scene. The authorities did not provide any alleged motives.

President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, speaking at his daily press conference on Wednesday, said Linares did not accept the defense, raising questions about whether he left the program at some point.

“Journalists in the state of Michoacán ask all officials to express their condolences,” journalist Rodolfo Montes said at a presidential press conference. “There is outrage … there is rage, there is helplessness in the face of this wave of murders. »

López Obrador reiterated his promise that there would be no impunity in the Linares case and said there was no evidence of the officials’ responsibility. But at another point, the president continued his frequent attacks on the press, claiming “lies” and calling some “mercenaries.”

In the Michoacán state legislature, dozens of reporters lined up in front of a room with placards that read, “The pigeon government doesn’t kill reporters” and “Press. Don’t pull.

A group of journalists called “No More Michoacans” said in a statement that “Armando’s calls for vigilance and help fell on deaf ears.” He also criticized the state and federal governments for denouncing Monitor Michoacan’s professionalism and downplaying the threats faced by its employees.

Journalists have been killed this year at the rate of almost one per week, in an unprecedented wave of violence against the profession in Mexico. Activists and the government place much of the blame for the high level of impunity in the killings of journalists and human rights activists, as well as ordinary Mexicans.

Jan-Albert Hutsen, a spokesman for the US Committee to Protect Journalists in Mexico, who spoke to Linares after the Toledo killings, mourned his death.

“In a world where disinformation and manipulation of every narrative is a brutal target pursued by those in power and willing to resort to lethal violence, journalists are legitimate targets and impunity is the most powerful tool to silence them,” he tweeted. .

Deputy Interior Minister Alejandro Encinas told a free speech event at the Norwegian embassy on Wednesday that “if there is no prevention, if there is no investigation and if there are no sanctions, impunity will continue to reign in these incidents.”

Linares did not want Toledo’s murder to go unpunished. In his video, he addressed the family of his colleague: “We are not going to leave such things. We will bring them to their final consequences.

AP writer Maria Versa from Mexico City contributed to this report.

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