Mexican journalist killed after threats from local mayor

(BREITBART) — by Ildefonso Ortiz and Brandon Darby

Press freedom groups denounced the murder of a Mexican journalist who was gunned down after receiving threats and bribe offers to stop reporting on a local politician in the state of Veracruz.

Unknown gunmen shot and killed Leobardo Vasquez Atzin in the town of Gutierrez Zamora, Veracruz. The murder comes just days after Vasquez stated on his Facebook page, Enlace Informativo Regional, that he received threats after reporting on public corruption in the town of Tecolutla. The town’s mayor is allegedly involved in an illicit property grab. Vasquez worked for various local newspapers before starting Enlace Informativo Regional.

“The murder of Leobardo Vázquez Atzin is the latest in a string of murders in Veracruz state, the most dangerous area for journalists in the western hemisphere,” Jan-Albert Hootsen the Mexico representative for the press freedom organization Committee to Protect Journalists said in a prepared statement denouncing the murder.

Vasquez’ murder is the third of its kind in Mexico since the start of 2018. This follows a bloody 2017 where more than a dozen journalists were murdered with complete impunity. The ongoing attacks on reporters and the press led the International Press Institute to label Mexico as the deadliest country for journalists. The number of murders of journalists surpassed Iraq and Syria, Breitbart Texas reported at the time.

Last year, three of the murders took place in Veracruz, considered to be one of the deadliest states for journalists.

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