Fourth journalist killed in Mexico this year: The owner of a radio station was stabbed to death in his home in Tabasco

The body of politician and journalist Moisés Dagdug Lutzow, who had been threatened for his work, was found inside his home in Villahermosa, Tabasco, in southeastern Mexico, on Feb. 20. He had been stabbed multiple times.

surveillance camera from the house showed two people left the home and drove off in Dagdug’s truck, which they later abandoned, according to Tabasco Hoy. A knife and bottles of alcohol were found in the truck; nothing of value was taken from the home, the paper reported.

While an official motive for the killing has not been determined, the Special Prosecutor’s Office for Crimes against Freedom of Expression (FEADLE), part of the Attorney General’s Office of the Republic (PGR), will take the case of Dagdug’s murder because of his activity as a journalist, according to Tabasco Hoy. The Office of the Attorney General of the State in Tabasco will also continue investigating the case.

Dagdug, 65, was director and owner of media company Grupo VX. He owned radio station XEVX-AM La Grande de Tabasco from 1980 to the present, and founded television station TVX where he hosted a program called “De Frente a Tabasco.” He also served as a federal representative for the Democratic Revolutionary Party (PRD) from 2006 to 2009.

Dagdug and the news director at Grupo VX “previously reported receiving threats for his critical stance against the state government of Tabasco,” Aristegui Noticias reported.

The news organization quoted the news director, Ángel Antonio Jiménez: “He was not afraid to say that he had been threatened, that he received constant threats, in fact, delinquents had entered his home on a couple of occasions. He changed the security system, in fact his lifestyle changed radically.”

"Federal authorities must take decisive action to combat the grave press freedom crisis facing Mexico," said Carlos Lauría, senior program coordinator for the Americas program at the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), according to an organization press release. "This means vigorously investigating Moisés Dagdug Lutzow's murder and considering all possible motives, including that he might have been killed in reprisal for his work."

Dagdug is the fourth journalist killed in Mexico this year.

Veracruz journalist Anabel Flores Salazar’s body was found in Puebla on Feb. 9 after she was kidnapped from her home by a group of armed men. Reynel Martínez Cerqueda, a host at community radio station El Manantial, was killed on Jan. 22 in Oaxaca, just one day before Marcos Hernández Bautista, reporter for newspaper Noticias, Voz e Imagen de Oaxaca, was murdered in the same state. Only one of these cases, the murder of Hernández, has been confirmed by CPJ as being in direct retaliation for the journalist's work.

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.