A newspaper employee died in the border state of Tamaulipas days after being critically injured in a shooting near his home. The journalist joins a growing number of Mexican news staffers murdered in 2019.
Local journalists in Ciudad Victoria condemned the murder of 44-year-old Juan Escamilla Bautista who was shot in his garage where he performed mechanic repairs part-time. Escamilla died four days after the attack. He was the printing manager at El Expreso in Ciudad Victoria.
Friends of the victim confirmed to Breitbart News that he would do auto mechanic work on the side to supplement his income. On the day of the attack, two gunmen riding on motorcycles pulled up to the garage and shot Escamilla five times before fleeing the area. Relatives called 911 and had him rushed to a local hospital where Escamilla clung to life for a little over four days as his condition worsened.
Law enforcement has not revealed a motive for the attack, nor which criminal organization is believed responsible. However, relatives told Breitbart News they suspect that the murder was a failed extortion attempt.
El Expreso, where Escamilla worked, has been a target of numerous threats and terror attacks in the past at the hands of Los Zetas Cartel. In December, a group of gunmen left a severed head inside of an ice chest outside the paper’s building. In 2012, a team of gunmen set off a car bomb outside of the business. No fatalities were reported.
Year 2019 has been deadly for journalists and support staff in Mexico with at least seven others killed and a total of nine murdered since Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (AMLO) took office in December 2018.
Other Murdered Mexican Journalists in 2019
Norma Sarabia Garduza – a veteran crime reporter for Tabasco Hoy. A team of gunmen shot her outside her home in Huimanguillo. Prior to her murder, Sarabia had been the target of several threats from corrupt law enforcement in Tabasco.
Francisco Romero – a journalist for Ocurrio Aqui and Playa News, was beaten to death outside a bar in Playa Del Carmen on May 16. Prior to his murder, Romero received numerous death threats and requested government protection.
Rafael Urua Manriquez — The general director of Radio Kashana, a community station based in Santa Rosalia, Baja California, which reported on human rights, gender issues, alternative lifestyles, reproductive health, and ecology. He was murdered on January 21.
Jesus Eugenio Ramos Rodriguez—Longtime journalist and host of the radio show “Nuestra Region Hoy” in Emiliano Zapata, Tabasco. Ramos was murdered by a lone gunman while eating breakfast on February 10. His case remains unsolved.
Reynaldo Lopez – A radio journalist from Hermosillo, Sonora. Lopez was in a vehicle with a colleague when a team of gunmen ambushed and fired multiple times on February 16.
Santiago Barroso Alfaro—A print and radio journalist from the border state of Sonora. Barroso was gunned down while opening the door to his home in San Luis Rio Colorado on March 15.
Omar Ivan Camacho – A radio journalist covering local sports and also managed a related website. He was thrown off an overpass after reporting on a baseball game in Sinaloa on March 25.
Ildefonso Ortiz is an award-winning journalist with Breitbart Border / Cartel Chronicles. He co-founded the Cartel Chronicles project with Brandon Darby and senior Breitbart management. 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 Border / Cartel Chronicles. He co-founded the Cartel Chronicles project with Ildefonso Ortiz and senior Breitbart management. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
“Francisco Morales” from the Cartel Chronicles project contributed to this report.