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Mexican journalist found dead at home, twelfth killed this year

Published: August 25, 2019
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A Mexican reporter has been found dead in his home, making him the twelfth journalist killed in the country this year, according to Mexico's human rights watchdog.

Nevith Condes Jaramillo died as result of being stabbed several times, the state prosecutor said on Saturday, adding that the case is being treated as a homicide.

Jaramillo, 42, also went by the name Nevith N. He ran the local news site El Observatorio del Sur.

On his website, he posted stories that led to him being at odds with local government, resulting in several threats over the last year.

The Mexican National Human Rights Commission (CNDH) condemned the murder in a statement and called for an independent investigation into his death. It added Jaramillo had requested federal protection because of the threats.

"With this homicide there are already 153 journalists killed since 2000, and 12 so far in 2019," the commission wrote in the published statement.

"Violence against journalists, in all its forms, is one of the main obstacles for our country to consolidate itself as a democracy, hence the need for the authorities of the three levels of government to focus on the prevention, protection and timely investigation of these facts," it added.

Mexico is considered one of the most dangerous countries in the world for journalists, according to Reporters Without Borders (RSF) and the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ).

Last month, three journalists were killed within a week, leading to CPJ to call for "an immediate and credible investigation" into their deaths.

"These two brutal killings within days of each other are the tragic consequence of Mexico's failure to seriously address impunity in attacks on the press," the group said in a statement following the three deaths.

While 90 people are killed every day on average, officials said 17,000 died in the first half of the year. Most of these deaths were linked to fighting between drug gangs. Most of the murders remain unsolved.

"Collusion between officials and organised crime poses a grave threat to journalists’ safety and cripples the judicial system at all levels," said the RSF.

"As a result, Mexico is sinking ever deeper into a spiral of violence and impunity and continues to be Latin America’s most dangerous country for reporters."

Murders jumped in the first half of the year to the highest on record, according to official data, underscoring the challenges President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has faced since taking office in December with a vow to reduce violence in the country ravaged by notorious drug cartels.

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A Mexican journalist enrolled in a federal protection programme has been shot dead, the fifth reporter to be killed this year in one of the most dangerous countries for the press. The blood-soaked body of crime reporter Francisco Romero was found on a pavement outside a nightclub in his hometown of Playa del Carmen along Mexico's Caribbean coast on Thursday, authorities said.

Amid recent reports that the bodies of four Mexican journalists were discovered in a canal in the port city of Veracruz, less than a week after another journalist based in that city was found strangled in her home, the U.S. State Department "plans to award a contract to provide a Mexican government security agency with a system that can intercept and analyze information from all types of communications systems," NextGov reported.

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