Mexico: cartels (or cops) kill yet another journalist
In the long string of Mexican journalists assassinated for covering police abuse and narco-corruption, the latest case is particularly egregious. On Oct. 6, authorities in San Luis Potosí found the body of Edgar Daniel Esqueda Castro outside the city's airport, dead of three gunshot wounds. He had been abducted by armed men in police uniforms the previous night.
Esqueda Castro's wife told the Committee to Protect Journalists in New York that the armed and uniformed men, invaded the couple's home late at night. She said the men, armed with pistols and at least one automatic rifle, broke the window of the front door and stormed into the room where she and her husband were asleep. The attackers, identifying themselves as local police, then seized the couple's cellphones—and took Esqueda Castro away at gunpoint.
Authorities in San Luis Potosí deny that their police were invovled in the abduction. It is true that cartel paramilitaries do sometimes don police uniforms—but this of course raises the question how they get them.
Esqueda Castro worked as a freelance photographer for the local news websites Metropoli San Luis and Vox Populi. He mostly covered society events, but sometimes worked on crime stories—winning him some recent threats and attacks. On July 13, police threatened Esqueda Castro verbally, took pictures of his identification card (which included his address), and told him they were watching his home. And on July 4, several police beat Esqueda and threatened to take his camera while he was photographing a shoot-out scene. He reported both incidents to authorities, including the State Human Rights Commission.
"Mexican authorities must swiftly investigate the abduction and murder of Edgar Daniel Esqueda Castro, and bring all of those responsible to justice," said CPJ's Alexandra Ellerbeck. "Criminals, sometimes connected with state actors, know that they can get away with killing journalists in Mexico because of chronic impunity for these crimes. Until that changes, the violence will continue."
Esqueda Castro is the fifth journalist to be killed in Mexico this year in retaliation for their reporting, according to the CPJ.