Reporters Without Borders (RSF) is calling on Mexico’s federal and local authorities to shed all possible light on the murder of Rogelio Barragán Pérez, a journalist whose body was found Tuesday in the central state of Morelos. He was the eighth journalist to be murdered this year in Mexico.
According to the Morelos prosecutor’s office, the police found Rogelio Barragán Pérez’s body in the trunk of his car in the municipality of Zacatepec at around 6:20 p.m. yesterday. The body, which bore the marks of multiple injuries to the head and face, was identified by his family.
Aged 49, Barragán was based in Chilpancingo, the capital of the neighbouring state of Guerrero, where he had been a journalist for more than ten years. After working for two local media outlets, Ecos de Guerrero and Agencia Informativa Guerrero, he founded and ran his own news website, Guerrero Al Instante, for which he mainly covered crime. His colleagues told RSF that he had stopped writing stories under his own by-line for security reasons.
“The investigators must prioritize the hypothesis that Rogelio Barragán Pérez was murdered in connection with his journalism and must identify those responsible as quickly as possible,” said Emmanuel Colombié, the head of RSF’s Latin America bureau.
“He is the eighth journalist to be killed so far this year in Mexico. How high will the awful toll rise? President Andrés Manuel López Obrador’s government must urgently take the courageous decisions that are needed to end this deadly spiral of violence against the media.”
Barragán’s murder confirms Mexico’s status as the world’s deadliest country for the media in 2019. The other Mexican journalists who have been killed in connection with their work this year are Norma Garabia Sarduza, Francisco Romero Díaz, Telésforo Santiago Enríquez, Jesús Eugenio Ramos Rodríguez, Rafael Murúa Manríquez, Omar Iván Camacho Mascareño and Santiago Barroso.
Mexico is ranked 144th out of 180 countries in RSF’s 2019 World Press Freedom Index.