Third Journalist Killed in Veracruz, 13th of the Year, A Murder with Mayoral Ties

Latin America

Yaqui for Borderland Beat from: lapatronaradio

Last Friday Jorge Celestino Ruiz Vázquez was murdered, a collaborating journalist for the newspaper ‘Graphic of Xalapa’, in Actopan, Veracruz. It is the thirteenth of the current administration.

Local media reported the murder Friday night, after 9 pm, when he  was shot once  with a firearm in the town of La Bocanita, municipality of  Actopan. Municipal Police Patrol went to the place where he was found dead.

The governor of Veracruz, Cuitláhuac García, condemned “the cowardly murder of a local media correspondent, Jorge Ruiz. We will find those responsible; His murder will not go unpunished. For hours already we have continued in the coordinated operation to capture the culprits. 

Media reported that in  2018  the communicator suffered another  attack when he was shot at while in his car.

Funeral of journalist Jorge Ruiz Vázquez, held at his home in the community of Bocanita, municipality of Actopan, Veracruz.  The reporter of the ‘Xalapa Chart’ was murdered Friday night.  

Photo: Sergio Hernández Vega

In the last note written by Jorge Ruiz Vázquez, a reporter for the Graphic newspaper  of “Xalapa Chart”  he revealed an alleged financial diversion committed by the mayor of that town, Paulino Domínguez Sánchez, for 10 and 12 million pesos.

According to the note published on Friday, August 2, hours before the crime, Ruiz Vázquez warns that Fermín Domínguez Barradas, son of the mayor, residing in Mexico City, has been involved in problems with justice, whereby his father could have taken resources from the town hall to bribe the authorities.

For a long time, Ruiz Vázquez maintained a strong enmity with Paulino Domínguez – who came to office through a PAN-PRD alliance – who was not happy with the journalistic follow-up that Jorge Ruiz did.
The mayor of Actopan, Paulingo Dominguéz, is linked to the murder of journalist Jorge Ruiz:
In the context of these differences, on October 24, 2018, strangers beat Ruiz Vázquez, when he was outside his home. On November 27 of that same year, a group of subjects arrived at the communicator’s house and fired at the building with high caliber weapons.

Following that aggression, Jorge Ruiz went to the Prosecutor’s Office Specialized in Electoral Crimes and Crimes Involving Journalists and Communicators of the State Prosecutor’s Office, and filed a complaint against Paulino Domínguez Sánchez, whom he accused of threatening him and being responsible for the aggressions before cited.

For that complaint, the prosecution opened an investigation folder, but because the investigation did not progress, in February 2019 the reporter went to the State Human Rights Commission (ECHR), and in May 2019, the latter sent an official letter in who requested the State Commission for the Care and Protection of Journalists (CEAPP) to give legal advice.

Thus, the communicator managed to promote the progress of the investigation and an agreement to carry out an extension of his statements before the prosecution, so last April, the agency determined that the situation of Ruiz Vázquez was delicate and ordered that the Ministry of Security Public (SSP) would protect him and his family as well.

Ruiz Vásquez had SSP protection:

When Ruiz Vázquez was executed, he did not have the protection of security elements, so the prosecutor reported that he opened an investigation to clarify the murder and find out why the protection measures dictated in favor of the victim and his family were not in place at the time of his murder.

The SSP responded that it maintained active protection measures in favor of the journalist, but these only consisted of routine rounds and occasional visits.

He pointed out that at the time the protection protocol was applied they did not detect irregularities, only that on the last visit (July 24) in meetings with the escorts of the mayor of Actopan, on the street or elsewhere, the mayor’s escorts / bodyguards gave him aggressive looks of provocation, but without exchanging any word.

Before the accusations against him, the mayor of Actopan, Paulino Domínguez, offered a press conference and said in the best disposition to help with the authorities to clarify the murder.

“Never in the government that I preside over has freedom of expression been curtailed or assaulted or attacked against any communicator,” he said. He demanded that the crime be clarified and those responsible would be brought to justice.

The Mayor stated bluntly: “I am not involved in the aforementioned investigation folder or the unfortunate events that occurred this Friday”, he said.

The murder of Ruiz Vázquez caused the anger and outrage of the journalistic guild, which in the municipalities of Coatzacoalcos, Acayucan and the port of Veracruz, took to the streets to protest.

Although it is the first homicide of a journalist in the government in turn (by Cuitláhuac García, of Morena), we cannot allow them to continue, said Fluvio Martínez, president of the Association of Journalists of Coatzacoalcos.

The National Human Rights Commission condemned the murder and asked the Veracruz authorities to implement precautionary measures to safeguard the life and integrity of the victim’s relatives and coworkers.
Three journalists were murdered this week. Before the case of Jorge Ruiz Vásquez  two journalists of Guerrero (one in Guerrero and another in Morelos) in different events:  Édgar Nava  and  Rogelio Barragán .

In the nine months that go from the current government add at least thirteen murders of journalists:

On December 1, 2018, Jesús Alejandro Márquez Jiménez, from the newspaper Crítica, was killed in Nayarit.

On December 6 of the same year, Diego García Corona, of the weekly Morelos, was murdered in Ecatepec.

Then, on January 20, 2019, they ended the life of Rafael Murúa Manríquez, community radio director, in Mulege, Baja California Sur.

Jesus Eugenio Ramos Rodríguez “Chuchín” was executed in Emiliano Zapata, Tabasco, on Feb 9.

In Hermosillo, Sonora, radio broadcaster Reynaldo López was murdered. In that aggression Carlos Cota Rubio was injured.

On February 20, Samir Flores Soberanes was murdered, although he was an activist opposed to the thermoelectric plant they build in Huexca, Morelos, he was also a journalist, since he founded the community station Radio Amiltzinko.

On March 15 at night they committed the murder of Santiago Barroso, also in Sonora.

March 24: sports journalist Omar Iván Camacho was killed in Salvador Alvarado municipality, Sinaloa.

On May 2, armed subjects committed the murder against Telésforo Santiago Enriquez in El Cafetal, a community in the municipality of San Agustín Loxicha in Oaxaca. He was founder and broadcaster of the community radio Estéreo Cafetal.

Norma Sarabia Garduza was the 10th victim this June 12 at dawn, when she arrived at her home in Huimanguillo, Tabasco.

Rogelio Barragán de ‘Guerrero al Instante’ was the 11th victim, whom they found dead in a row in Zacatepec, state of Morelos.

The 12th was Édgar Nava López who was killed in Zihuatanejo, Guerrero, after a municipal event for children. He was director of the medium ‘La Verdad Zihuatanejo’.

The 13th was Jorge Ruiz Vásquez. The last three occurred in this same week.

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