Body of reporter found Oaxaca, Mexico with gunshot wounds, signs of beating

By Alejandro Martínez

Mexican authorities confirmed that a body found in the state of Oaxaca on Wednesday, July 17 , belonged to journalist Alberto López Bello, according to newsite Animal Político. The 28-year-old López Bello covered the police beat for the daily El Imparcial.

The journalist was found in the outskirts of Oaxaca City, alongside the body of another man and near some bloodied wooden beams and rocks. According to the AFP news agency, López Bello showed signs of gunshot wounds and beatings.

López Bello had worked for El Imparcial for six years and showed up to work on Tuesday.  He had been covering activities of the local drug market in Oaxaca, reported AFP.

El Imparcial condemned the crime and urged authorities “swift action against these lamentable acts, which demonstrate the vulnerability that media professsionals are exposed to in their daily work of providing people with truthful and timely information."

Mexico is one of the most dangerous countries in the Americas for journalists. In the last decade,  more than 80 reporters have been killed and 17 have disappeared, according to Reporters without Borders.

A recent report from the National Center for Social Communication concluded that the six-year administration of former President Felipe Calderón, who started the war against drugs in the country, has been the most violent against the press. Meanwhile, a recent report from the organization Article 19 stated that threats against journalists have risen 46% during the first six months of new President Enrique Peña Nieto's term.

Note from the editor: This story was originally published by the Knight Center’s blog Journalism in the Americas, the predecessor of LatAm Journalism Review.