Journalist Killed In Mexico, The Fourth in Six Weeks

A Mexican journalist, Maximino Rodriguez Palacios, was shot dead outside of a shopping center Friday April 14 in La Paz, a coastal city in the state of Baja California Sur. He was 72 years old.

Palacios wrote about politics and crime for the Pericu Collective. He had previously worked as a spokesman for the state attorney general’s office.

Attacks on Mexican journalists have been ongoing since March 2. Palacios’ death is the fourth life claimed by brazen killings.

The attacks have drawn condemnation from human rights advocates, with the Committee to Protect Journalists calling the situation in Mexico a “crisis” of freedom of expression.

Mexico is the world’s third-most dangerous country for journalists, after Syria and Afghanistan, according to Reporters Without Borders. Since 2000, 124 journalists have been killed, according to Mexico’s human rights commission.

March 23, well-known investigative reporter for the national La Jornada was gunned down in the northern state of Chihuahua while driving with one of her children. March 19, columnist Ricardo Monlui was shot twice as he left a restaurant with his wife and son in Veracruz, and on March 2, Cecilio Pineda Birto, a freelancer and the founder of La Voz de Tierra Caliente, was shot and killed at a car wash in Guerrero state.

The violence is so severe that a newspaper in Juarez, Mexico has decided to shut down for a month to protect its journalists. The editor said that the violence was “preventing us from continuing freely with our work.”

Palacios had covered the increase in crime in his home state for the Pericu Collective. He documented killings on a regular basis, and also wrote a column that touched on controversial topics. Palacios recently wrote about a local union whose boss was allegedly corrupt.