A team of gunmen ambushed two Mexican journalists in the city of Hermosillo, Sonoro, killing one of them and injuring the second one. The murder marks the third murder of a journalist in 2019 and the fifth murder of its kind since Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador took office in December 2018.
The attack took place on Saturday evening as radio journalist Reynaldo Lopez and television reporter Carlos Cota drove a small Chevrolet automobile along one of the main avenues in Hermosillo, the main city in Sonora. A team of unknown gunmen carrying machine guns blocked off the small car and shot at the two men multiple times. A video taken from a distance by a citizen journalist and provided to Breitbart News revealed the intensity of the attack.
Lopez died as a result of the attack. The gunmen seriously wounded Cota who was rushed to a local hospital. Authorities have not identified the gunmen nor a motive for the attack. Soon after the attack, Jesus Ramirez Cuevas, the head of the press department for AMLO, took to social media to condemn the murder stating that the Mexican government would be working to improve security conditions for journalist and human rights activists.
La agresión cometida contra todo ejercicio de libertad de expresión constituye un acto condenable. Lamento profundamente el ataque que sufrieron 2 comunicadores en Hermosillo, Sonora.
Esperamos la acción de las autoridades correspondientes para aclarar los hechos.
— Jesús Ramírez Cuevas (@JesusRCuevas) February 17, 2019
The murder comes just 9 days after a lone gunman shot and killed another Mexican radio journalist in the state of Tabasco. As Breitbart News reported, Jesus Eugenio “Chuchin” Ramos Rodriguez, was having breakfast at a restaurant in the municipality of Emiliano Zapata when the gunman shot him at least 8 times.
In late January, another radio journalist from Baja California was reported missing and then found stabbed to death. As Breitbart News reported, 34-year-old Rafael Murua Manriquez died from multiple apparent stab wounds after having been reported missing. Murua worked the general director of Radio Kashana, a community station based in Santa Rosalia, which reported on human rights, gender issues, alternative lifestyles, reproductive health, and ecology.
Two other journalists have been killed in Mexico since AMLO took office in December. As Breitbart News reported, in early December, 35-year-old Diego Garcia Corona from Semanario Morelos was gunned down on his way home from work in Mexico State. That murder came just three days after the murder of Jesus Alejandro Marquez, the founder, and leader of Orion Informativo in the state of Nayarit.
Ildefonso Ortiz is an award-winning journalist with Breitbart Texas. He co-founded the Cartel Chronicles project with Brandon Darby and Stephen K. Bannon. You can follow him on Twitter and on Facebook. He can be contacted at Iortiz@breitbart.com.
Brandon Darby is the managing director and editor-in-chief of Breitbart Texas. He co-founded the Cartel Chronicles project with Ildefonso Ortiz and Stephen K. Bannon. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jose Luis Lara from the Cartel Chronicles project contributed to this report.