Journalist killed in Tamaulipas, Mexico is second journalist killed in that country in less than 24 hours

Less than 24 hours after the death of a journalist in Oaxaca, a reporter in Tamaulipas state has been killed by a group of armed men. She is the eighth journalist killed in Mexico this year.

On the morning of June 20, journalist and teacher Zamira Esther Bautista, 44, was shot while in her car outside of her home in Ciudad Victoria, the capital of Tamaulipas state in northeastern Mexico.

According to Proceso, Bautista was a freelance journalist and teacher, but had covered the social section in newspapers El Mercurio and La Verdad de Ciudad Victoria.

A card left with the journalist attempted to link her to members of a criminal group in the city, according to a statement from the state government. The Inter American Press Association (IAPA) explained that these types of notes are common in the city and state “as means of seeking to discredit citizens and justify ‘the settling of accounts.’”

Bautista’s murder comes just one day after that of Elidio Ramos Zárate, who was killed in Oaxaca reportedly while photographing a robbery in-progress at a convenience store. Zárate had been covering the intense confrontations between police and teachers in that state.

The Network of Journalists of the Northeast released a statement concerning Zárate and Bautista’s murders, urging the government to punish those responsible and end impunity for crimes against journalists in the country, as reported by Vanguardia.

“The crimes continue to occur in spite of ineffective laws intended to protect communicators and protection mechanisms because the majority of murders are not solved and the perpetrators, material and intellectual, remain unpunished,” a statement from the group said.

IAPA reiterated those calls for justice.

“Our organization is extremely alarmed with the risk confronting journalists in the country, especially in the interior states,” said Claudio Paolillo, the organization’s president of the Commission of Freedom of the Press and Information, according to a release. “The violent events in Mexico are imposed through murder, while impunity protects them. The state has the duty to end the sickening cycle of violation to human rights.”

Thirteen journalists were killed in Tamaulipas from 2000 to 2015, according to freedom of expression organization Article 19 Mexico. Six more went missing between 2003 and 2015.


[Ed. note: A previous version of this article published the name of the journalist killed in Oaxaca as Elpidio Ramos Zárate. His name is Elidio Ramos Zárate.]

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.