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Fourth Mexican journalist killed this year was known as a government critic

The following is a translation of an article originally published on on 25 April 2016.

Francisco Pacheco Beltrán, correspondent for El Sol de Acapulco newspaper, editor of El Foro de Taxco newspaper and radio station correspondent for Capital Máxima 97.1 F.M. was murdered this morning while returning to his home in Taxco de Alarcón, Guerrero.

Pacheco Beltrán left his house early to drop off a family member at the Taxco bus station. At around 6:30am, he was attacked and killed by gunshot while returning home. Witnesses said they heard gunshots and minutes later the journalist's body was found outside of his home.

According to Ezequiel Flores, correspondent for Proceso newspaper, Francisco was very critical of all three levels of government. “It was common for him to criticize the authorities. That hadn't caused him any issues [in the past]. No threats or assaults resulting from his criticism had ever been reported,” said Flores in an ARTICLE 19 interview. Pacheco covered stories involving the police, local politics and tourism for the various media channels to which he contributed, and he was particularly critical of the current government headed by Omar Jalil Flores, Mayor of Taxco.

In 2015, ARTICLE 19 documented 56 assaults on journalists in Guerrero, making it the state with the third most attacks that year. During the first quarter of 2016, the organization documented 11 assaults against members of the press in this state, and civil servants were held responsible for 10 of these cases. This makes Guerrero the state with the second most attacks against members of the press.

ARTICLE 19 demands that the Public Prosecutor's Office of Guerrero State urgently open an impartial and unobstructed inquiry into the murder of Francisco Pacheco, considering his work as a journalist as the main line of investigation, in order to figure out what occurred and to avoid another case of impunity.

ARTICLE 19 calls for the Mechanism for Protection of Human Rights Defenders and Journalists to manage and implement actions aimed at guaranteeing safety for the family of the journalist, as well as preventative measures for stopping violence against other members of the media in the state of Guerrero.

What other IFEX members are saying
  • Mexican reporter shot to death in Guerrero state

    "The endless cycle of violence against Mexican journalists is devastating the local press," said Carlos Lauría, CPJ's senior program coordinator for the Americas.

  • Mexico: IAPA protests 'double silencing'

    "The anxiety that Mexican journalists feel in the face of little action by the authorities and the lack of justice in these cases of murder, attacks and threats is outrageous," said Claudio Paolillo, chairman of the IAPA's Committee on Freedom of the Press and Information.

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