Killing of journalist and his son brings to three the number of Mexican reporters slain in a month

Mexican journalist Ángel Castillo Corona, columnist for the digital newspaper Portal, was killed along with his teen-age son, early Sunday morning, July 3, when they were assaulted while driving in the city of Tianguistenco in Mexico State, Portal reported.

Castillo is the third Mexican journalist killed in a month. Meanwhile, also during the last month, another reporter was kidnapped and the body of another journalist was found in a hidden grave.

According to the police investigation, Castillo was beaten to death, as was his 16-year-old son, reported todotexcoco.com.

Although the main hypothesis for the motive behind the killings is that it was a robbery, the newspaper El Sol de México highlighted the fact that "the brutality that was used to kill the journalist and his son casts doubt on the theory that this was about a robbery." As such, after meeting with journalists from the region, state prosecutor Alfredo Castillo Cervantes said he had not ruled out other possible motives.

Castillo is the third journalist killed in Mexico since June 14, when reporter Pablo Ruelas was shot to death in Huatabampo, in the northern state of Sonora. Six days later, in Veracruz, an armed gang killed journalist Miguel Ángel López Velasco, who covered security and drug trafficking.

Mexico has been caught in a spiral of violence since President Felipe Calderón launched an anti-drug war in December 2006. Since then, about 35,000 people have been killed. According to statistics from the National Commission of Human Rights, 70 journalists have been killed in Mexico since 2000.

For more information about attacks on the Mexican press, see this Knight Center map.

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.