Journalist killed in Mexico was threatened in latest weeks

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COSOLEACAQUE, Mexico — The director of an internet information website in southeastern Mexico had been threatened in latest weeks over her journalism earlier than being killed with a colleague, her brother mentioned Tuesday.

Yessenia Mollinedo Falconi and Sheila Johana García Olivera, the director and a reporter, respectively, of the web information website El Veraz in Cosoleacaque had been shot Monday afternoon whereas sitting in a car parked exterior a comfort retailer.

Concern gripped the city after the slayings, and just some buddies lastly dared to go to the Mollinedo’s home to provide condolences Tuesday night. Then, the ladies of the household opened the coffin, placed on her low-heeled footwear and mentioned goodbye to the journalist with the open coffin.

They had been the tenth and eleventh media employees killed in Mexico to this point this 12 months and their deaths got here simply days after one other journalist was killed within the northern state of Sinaloa.

Ramiro Mollinedo Falconi, additionally a journalist, mentioned his youthful sister had obtained threatening cellphone calls ordering her to take away crime-related tales from her information website and that extra lately she had devoted her protection to Cosoleacaque metropolis corridor.

“She was telling us 15 days in the past that she had obtained threats, that they had been going to complete her, that they had been going to kill her,” Ramiro Mollinedo Falconi mentioned. Then on April 30, his sister was leaving an occasion when unidentified males started following her in a automobile and on a motorbike. “They advised her, ‘We all know who you’re,’” he mentioned. One thing related occurred to her on Could 4, he mentioned.

Nonetheless sporting the shirt that recognized him as a reporter for his personal political information website “Ahora 30 30,” he mentioned his sister didn’t have political enemies.

El Veraz — which interprets as “the truthful one” — operated a Fb web page and appeared to virtually solely submit notices about occasions or public data from the municipality’s authorities. El Veraz’s motto was “Journalism with Humanity.” Yessenia Mollinedo Falconi based it 5 years in the past.

“Right here it was organized crime,” he mentioned. “Some felony group from this space ordered the execution of Yessenia for some publications she had been doing for her work.” He mentioned he suspected tales associated to the state police had been responsible and believed that native authorities had been defending criminals.

Nonetheless, Yessenia didn’t make a proper grievance concerning the threats to authorities or register with state or federal journalist safety applications, her brother mentioned. She thought the menace would simply go away prefer it had greater than a 12 months and a half in the past when she additionally obtained threats, however nothing got here of them.

He mentioned that even Monday evening whereas the household was ready for authorities to launch her physique, unknown males made a number of passes on a motorbike and in a automobile with tinted home windows.

“After all we worry for our lives,” Ramiro Mollinedo Falconi mentioned. “Our household has been the thing of kidnapping, our household has been object of extortion. My household has been the thing of fixed repression, of loss of life threats…. My siblings have needed to go away this state to keep away from being killed.”

García Olivera had been working for his sister for lower than 12 months, he mentioned.

Mexico’s state and federal governments have been criticized for neither stopping journalists’ killings nor investigating them sufficiently.

Pedro Vaca, particular rapporteur for freedom of expression for the Inter-American Fee on Human Rights, mentioned by way of Twitter: “By conviction — or status — it can’t be tolerated {that a} democracy coexists with a slaughter of journalists.”

President Andrés Manuel López Obrador mentioned Tuesday that the case could be investigated.

Whereas organized crime is usually concerned in journalist killings, small city officers or politicians with political or felony motivations are sometimes suspects as properly. Journalists working small information shops in Mexico’s inside are simple targets.

Cosoleacaque sits on a significant east-west artery in southeast Mexico. Organized crime strikes medicine and migrants, but in addition runs extortion rackets.

On Monday evening, the city appeared abandoned. No companies had been open, no individuals walked exterior, no taxis cruised the streets.

Authorities launched the our bodies of each ladies to their households earlier than daybreak Tuesday. For many of the day, only a few family sat with the caskets. Burials had been scheduled for Wednesday.

The Veracruz State Prosecutor’s Workplace promised an intensive investigation, together with taking a look at whether or not the victims’ journalistic work was a motive of their killings.

Israel Hernández Sosa, govt secretary of the Veracruz State Fee for Consideration To and Safety of Journalists, mentioned he was insisting that authorities make that risk their first line of investigation.

He described the scenario within the space for journalists as very tough, however he mentioned the fee had had no prior contact with Mollinedo Falconi or García Olivera.

Related Press author Christopher Sherman in Mexico Metropolis contributed to this report.

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