A journalist with the national newspaper Excelsior has been killed in Mexico, the sixth media worker murdered in the country this year and the third this month.
The body of Hector Gonzalez Antonio was found on Tuesday morning on a street in Ciudad Victoria, the capital of the northeast border state of Tamaulipas, the state prosecutor’s office said in a statement.
As the correspondent for a national outlet, Antonio’s most recent stories reflected the violence and corruption present in Tamaulipas.
Authorities responded to a call about a dumped body and later identified Antonio, who was beaten to death.
Tamaulipas state attorney general said authorities are “opening an investigation to identify and locate those responsible for the homicide”.
Confirming the killing, Pascal Beltran del Rio, editorial director of the newspaper, said: “It’s with immense pain that I share the news of the murder of my colleague, Hector Gonzalez Antonio, a magnificent person, a correspondent for Excelsior and Grupo Imagen in Tamaulipas.”
“A big hug in solidarity with his family. I also call for immediate answers in this case and for justice,” del Rio said on Twitter.
Journalists under fire
Antonio’s killing comes less than a week after the murder of economics reporter Alicia Diaz Gonzalez, who was found dead in her home in Monterrey in northern Mexico. She had also been beaten to death.
Earlier this month, radio journalist Juan Carlos Huerta was shot dead as he left his home in a suburb of Villahermosa in southeast Mexico.
At least six journalists, including Antonio, have been killed in Mexico in 2018. At least two were killed as a direct result of their work, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ).
“Every murder of a journalist, photographer, blogger, social media commentator or media worker confirms that our Mexican colleagues continue to face constant violence and near complete impunity in attacks against the press,” Jan-Albert Hootsen, Mexico’s CPJ representative, tweeted.
Mexico is the second deadliest country for journalists after Syria, according to a Reporters Without Borders (RSF) report.
RSF ranks Mexico 147th out of 180 countries on its World Press Freedom Index.
Since President Enrique Pena Nieto assumed his office in 2012, at least 42 journalists have been killed and there have been about 2,000 attacks on reporters.
Since 2000, more than 100 reporters have been killed in the country, with most of those crimes still unpunished.