Why are so many journalists being killed in Mexico? – podcast

The Guardian’s Latin America correspondent, Tom Phillips, tells Michael Safi that he can clearly remember the night he met Margarito Martinez. Tom had travelled to Tijuana, Mexico, to cover an epidemic of violence there, and was following an ambulance crew to the scene of a crime. After a frantic drive through darkened streets, he was sure they would be the first to arrive – but they were not. Margarito was already there.

Margarito was not just good at his job, he was also universally beloved by his fellow reporters. He was a “sweetie”, as one colleague put it, and had a disarming smile. He was a family man, too, a devoted father and husband. It came as a shock to his friends and colleagues when, earlier this year, he was gunned down right in front of his own home.

Tijuana has long been a dangerous city, particularly for journalists. But under a Mexican president who calls journalists “enemies of the people”, reporting in Mexico has never been more deadly. This year, eight journalists have been killed in Mexico already – almost as many as the total number of journalists killed in the country last year (nine). What’s behind this wave of violence? And will Mexico’s president do anything to stop it?

Margarito Martínez, a Tijuana photojournalist, who was shot and killed on Jan. 17, 2022.

Photograph: Emilio Espejel/The Guardian

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