Reporter shot to death in northern Mexico

With the Mexican press still reeling from the recent disappearance of one journalist and the appearance in a hidden grave of the body of another journalist, now local media are reporting the June 14 killing of reporter Pablo Ruelas Barraza in Huatabampo, in the northern Mexican state of Sonora.

Ruelas, 38 years old, was shot while resisting a kidnapping attempt, according to El Universal. A state police report, quoted by El Reportero de la Comunidad, said that at first glance, his body showed he had been shot at least four times.

The journalist, according to the site Kioskomayor, who had been unemployed for several months, had received death threats from criminal groups and state authorities, added Excelsior.

Ruelas, who had worked with El Diario del Yaqui and El Regional de Cajeme, had spent five years in jail for crimes against health, which in Mexico refers to drug trafficking-related crimes, reported La Voz del Puerto.

Mexico has been caught in the middle of aspiral of violence since President Felipe Calderón launched an anti-drug war in 2006. Roughly 35,000 persons, including numerous reporters, have been killed since then. According to statistics from the National Human Rights Commission, about 70 journalists have been killed in Mexico since 2000.

So far this year, the violence has even reached into countries where the killing of journalists is less common, with journalists killed in HondurasBrazilGuatemala and Venezuela. See this Knight Center map for more information about threats to journalists in Mexico.

This blog is produced at The Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas at the University of Texas at Austin and funded by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.

Other Related Headlines:
» Knight Center (Human rights report: Mexican government is complicit in violence against journalists)

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.