The San Diego Pro Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists is saddened and deeply troubled by the murders of two Tijuana journalists last week. Their deaths follow the death of a third journalist from Veracruz who was killed during a robbery earlier this month.
According to The San Diego Union-Tribune, on Sunday evening, Lourdes Maldonado López was shot and killed in her car, which was parked outside her home in the Santa Fe area of Tijuana. Her death follows last Monday’s shooting of Margarito Martínez Esquivel, a photojournalist and “fixer” — someone who assists reporters who might not be familiar with an area — who worked with news outlets including the BBC and The Union-Tribune. Martinez Esquivel was shot three times as he was leaving for work.
The Union-Tribune reported that his teenage daughter heard the shots and found her father’s body.
The San Diego journalism community has always had a close bond with Tijuana journalists, who often assist us with coverage and share expertise at conferences and panel discussions. It’s deeply unfair that reporters who live only a few miles south of the U.S. border can’t do their vitally important work without putting their lives at risk.
According to the Committee to Protect Journalists, at least 56 Mexican reporters have been murdered since 1992, and another 14 have gone missing during that time. For comparison, eight U.S. journalists were murdered in the same time period.
We join with the San Diego/Tijuana Chapter of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists in mourning the loss of these reporters and encourage anyone who wants to help to consider donating to support Martinez Esquivel’s family. We will try to share opportunities to aid journalists and their families as we learn of them.