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Wed May 5, 2021, 07:43 PM

Reporter murdered in northwestern Mexico's Sonora state

May 5, 2021

In a tragic irony, reporter Benjamín Morales Hernández’s body was found at the side of a road between Caborca and Sonoyta, two towns near the US border, on 3 May, World Press Freedom Day, one day after gunmen hijacked him in his own vehicle near his home.

After his family reported him missing, the police found the vehicle first and then his body a few kilometres away in the early hours of the morning. The Sonora state prosecutor’s office has said it is investigating several leads.

Morales was the founder and editor of Noticias Xonoidag, a local news outlet on Facebook, in which – just one day before his abduction – he reported that he had been threatened and said he feared for his life.

“Those responsible for Benjamín Morales Hernández’s execution-style murder must be identified and brought to justice without delay, and the investigators should under no circumstances neglect the hypothesis that he was killed in connection with his reporting,” said Emmanuel Colombié, the head of RSF’s Latin America bureau.

More:
https://rsf.org/en/news/reporter-murdered-northwestern-mexicos-sonora-state#:~:text=In%20a%20tragic%20irony%2C%20reporter,own%20vehicle%20near%20his%20home.

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Google translation:

Mexico: journalist Benjamín Morales Hernández murdered

The murder of Morales Hernández occurred on World Press Freedom Day and is noted as the first so far in 2021.



Benjamín Morales Hernández

Rest in Peace.

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Google translation:

Mexico: journalist Benjamín Morales Hernández murdered

The murder of Morales Hernández occurred on World Press Freedom Day and is noted as the first so far in 2021.



Journalist Benjamín Morales Hernández was shot to death on Monday (05/03/2021) after being taken from his home by an armed group in the northwestern Mexican state of Sonora, the international organization Reporters Without Borders (RSF) reported.

His murder occurred on World Press Freedom Day and is noted as the first so far in 2021. In a series of messages on Twitter , RSF said it was aware of the murder of Morales Hernández, director of the digital portal Noticias Xonoidag in the Municipality of Sonoyta, state of Sonora. The organization added that the journalist was taken from his home by an armed group and later killed.




RSF explained that various sources refer that Morales Hernández "had previously been threatened" and demanded that local and federal authorities investigate the events and arrest those responsible. In addition, he noted that the state of Sonora has become "a red flag" for the press, with two journalists missing in less than a month: Jorge Molontzín and Pablo Romero Chávez.

Local media indicated that the Attorney General's Office of the State of Sonora reported that in the early hours of this May 3 they found a lifeless man, with several gunshot wounds, inside a vehicle - apparently his property - near from the Morelia community, at kilometer 167 of the Sonoyta-Caborca ​​highway. The journalist's family, specialized in police sources, had reported his disappearance on May 2.

Mexico is one of the most dangerous countries for the practice of journalism in the world. According to the NGO Article 19 , from 2000 to date, they have documented 137 murders of journalists - 126 men and 11 women - in Mexico, in possible relation to their work. Of the total, 47 were registered during the term of former President Enrique Peña Nieto (2012-2018) and, in just over two years of the Andrés Manuel López Obrador Administration, 17 journalists have been murdered for reasons possibly related to their work. According to RSF, murders against journalists have 99% impunity.

https://www.dw.com/es/m%C3%A9xico-asesinan-a-periodista-benjam%C3%ADn-morales-hern%C3%A1ndez/a-57418678

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You may recall seeing the face of this journalist (article in Spanish) whose murder was covered in a link in this forum only a couple of days ago:



https://www.dw.com/es/m%C3%A9xico-d%C3%A9cadas-de-impunidad-y-negligencia-en-casos-de-periodistas-asesinados/a-57416846

On April 28, 9 years ago, journalist Regina Martínez was found dead in her home with signs of torture. A suspect was arrested in October of that year, and confessed to the murder. Veracruz authorities concluded that the motive was a robbery. The evidence was manipulated and it was ignored that her work as a correspondent for Proceso magazine could have put her in the crosshairs of her executioners.

The journalist denounced the links between organized crime and governors Fidel Herrera (2004-2010) and Javier Duarte (2010-2016), both from the Institutional Revolutionary Party -PRI- in Veracruz.

Balbina Flores, correspondent and representative in Mexico of Reporters without Borders , met with Regina Martínez on several occasions. "She was one of my sources of information about the situation in Veracruz. She felt threatened. Months before she was murdered, she commented that she received threats. There was no judicial complaint, but there were two incidents prior to her murder, which were not incorporated. to the investigation of the Prosecutor's Office in the State of Veracruz, "he says.

Some 120 journalists have been murdered in the last 20 years in Mexico, half of those murders occurred since 2012. The murders are the most striking cases, but there are also journalists who have been deferred, who have to leave their posts due to the threats they receive. , there are missing reporters, who are the least talked about. "It seems that (these cases) are not shocking, but they are terribly serious because the situation of these journalists is unknown," says Balbina Flores.

. . .



More:
https://www.dw.com/es/m%C3%A9xico-d%C3%A9cadas-de-impunidad-y-negligencia-en-casos-de-periodistas-asesinados/a-57416846

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Reply Reporter murdered in northwestern Mexico's Sonora state (Original post)
Judi Lynn May 5 OP
Judi Lynn May 8 #1

Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Sat May 8, 2021, 09:34 PM

1. UN condemns killing of Mexican border journalist

The U.N. Human Rights agency has condemned the killing this week of an online journalist in Mexico's northern border state of Sonora

ByThe Associated Press
May 8, 2021, 4:20 PM
• 1 min read

MEXICO CITY -- The U.N. Human Rights agency on Saturday condemned the killing this week of an online journalist in Mexico’s northern border state of Sonora.

Benjamín Morales Hernández ran an online community news site called Noticias Xonoidag. On the site he covered local community events in the border town of Sonoyta, and sometimes reported on police and crime.

His family reported he had been abducted over the weekend and on Monday, his bullet-ridden body was found on a highway.

The rights office said his abduction and killing reflected the dangers journalists face in Mexico. Press groups say nine journalists were killed in Mexico in 2020, the highest total of any country not at war.

Morales Hernández had reportedly complained of threats due to his coverage of local election campaigns, but Sonoyta — located across the border from Lukeville, Arizona — is located in a region where drug cartels frequently operate.

https://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory/condemns-killing-mexican-border-journalist-77578286

(Short article, no more at link.)



Benjamín Morales Hernández

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