Mexico journalist shot dead in Gulf state of Veracruz

Leobardo Vzquez, 48, who was killed in city of Gutirrez Zamora, guided local information website in sphere known for dose cartel activity

A Mexican journalist has been shot dead in the Gulf coast state of Veracruz, growing the latest victim in a relentless cord of attempts on the country’s press.

Leobardo Vazquez guided an online word store called Enlace Informative Regional and previously reported for other media of the states of the region.

He was shot dead on Monday night at the taco stand he controlled next to his house in the vanilla-producing metropoli of Gutierrez Zamora, according to a statement by Veracruz state officials.

Officials have offered no motivating for the homicide, though Mexican media reported he has received menaces over his reporting on an illegal land “invasion” by squatters.

Vazquez moonlighted at his fast-food stand to make ends meet, while also reporting misdemeanour and the police in north Veracruz, an area rife with underworld work.

Press freedom groups consider the region a” zone of silence”, where the reporters perform self-censorship to stay safe and keep the details of crime and dishonesty examples vague.

Vazquez was the third Mexican reporter to be killed in 2018. Last year 12 media members were assassinated in the country.

Quick guide

Mexico’s war on drugs

Why did Mexico propel its crusade on medicines ?

On 10 December 2006, chairperson Felipe Calderon, launched Mexico’s war on stimulants by mailing 6,500 troops into his home district of Michoacan, where rival cartels were engaged in tit-for-tat massacres.

Calderon swore battle eight daylights after taking supremacy- a move widely seen as an attempt to boost his own legitimacy after a bitterly contested ballot succes. Within two months, around 20,000 units were involved in operations across the country.

What has the war payment in so far ?

The US has donated at least $1.5 bn through the Merida Initiative since 2008, while Mexico has invested at the least $54 bn on its safety and excuse since 2007. Commentators say that this influx of money has helped create an opaque security industry open to dishonesty at every level.

But the biggest overheads have been human: since 2007, around 230,000 people have been slaughtered and more than 28,000 reported as faded. Human claims groups have also detailed a vast rise in human rights abuses by security forces.

As the cartels have fractured and changed, other violent crimes such as kidnapping and extortion have also surged. In additive, hundreds of thousands of beings have been displaced by brutality.

What has been achieved ?

Improved collaboration between the US and Mexico has resulted in several high-profile detains and stimulant busts. Officials tell 25 of the 37 drug traffickers on Calderon’s most-wanted roll have been penitentiary, extradited to the US or killed, although not all of these actions have been independently corroborated.

The biggest win- and most embarrassing error- under Pena Nieto’s leadership was the recapture, flee and another retaking of Joaquin” El Chapo” Guzman, governor of the Sinaloa cartel.

While the repression and captivate of kingpins has won praise from the means and US, it has done little to reduce the violence.

How is the US implied?

Mexico’s decade-long conflict on narcotics would never have been possible without the huge infusion of American currency and armed partnership for the purposes of the Merida Initiative. The funds have continued to flood despite originating evidence of serious human rights violations.

Photograph: Pedro Pardo/ AFP

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2017 was Mexico’s deadliest year on enter, and the assassination frequency has obstructed clambering in 2018: in the first 2 month of its first year, Mexico registered 4,937 homicides, an 18% multiply the same period of 2017.

Violence against the media has been especially acute in the state of Veracruz. During the 2010 -2 016 administering the minister Javier Duarte– currently in jail on decay bills- at the least 20 media workers were slaughtered and many more were forced to flee the state.

” The death of Leobardo Vazquez is a clear signed that the conditions for journalists in the nation had not been able to improved since Duarte left ,” answered Jan-Albert Hootsen, Mexico representative for the Committee to Protect Journalists.

” Reporters are still naughtily exposed to violence. Practically all of the murders of journalists in Veracruz remain unpunished and the exemption incentivises more violence .”

Mexico has implemented some measures to prevent the bloodsheds, including a mechanism for protecting reporters under threat and a special prosecutor’s office for investigating the crimes committed against them. But reporters and press freedom radicals have complained that the official response has been half-hearted and ineffective.

Earlier this week, the royal laureate Mario Vargas Llosa prompted outrage by be affirmed that the targeting of reporters was a thought of improved press freedoms.

” The reality that more than 100 writers were slaughtered is, in grand fraction, to be blamed on the freedom today, which gives writers to reply circumstances that were not permitted previously. Drugs trafficking romps an utterly central part in all of this ,” he said in a radio interview.

Many reporters berated Vargas Llosa, saying he had failed to consider Mexico’s widespread immunity- and the end connection between organised criminal and the country’s politicians.

Article 19, a freedom of expression advocacy organisation, had submitted a report earlier in March noting that only 8% of the nearly 2,000 invasions- menaces, molestation or assaults- against the reporters in Mexico last year could be attributed to organised crime.

Public officials, meanwhile, dedicated 48% of the aggressiveness against journalists.