TIERRA BLANCA, Veracruz — Mexican authorities said Thursday July 21 that a local journalist was shot to death outside his home in the Gulf Coast state of Veracruz, the country’s deadliest for reporters in recent years.
The state prosecutor’s office said in a statement that 43-year-old Pedro Tamayo was gunned down by two attackers Wednesday night in the municipality of Tierra Blanca. Investigators recovered multiple 9 mm shells.
Authorities did not give a possible motive for the killing, and it was not immediately clear if Tamayo was targeted due to his work.
The newspaper he worked for, El Pinero de la Cuenca, published an editorial saying Tamayo “documented the acts of violence and social protest in his hometown” and had also reported extensively on crime.
“On many occasions he was intimidated by the forces of official power,” it said. “And his stories, the majority of which were about violence, made some uncomfortable.”
Tamayo also contributed to the website Alcalorpolitico.com.
He had left Veracruz for a time when he felt threatened while investigating the case of five young people who disappeared in the state.
Tierra Blanca is a notoriously violent corner of Veracruz. The Jalisco New Generation gang, one of the most powerful cartels in Mexico, is blamed for kidnapping and killing five young people who disappeared there Jan. 11.
At least 17 journalists have been murdered in Veracruz since late 2010, and others have disappeared.
All those killings have occurred during the administration of Gov. Javier Duarte, who has at times sought to blame journalists for the violence and suggested some had ties to the drug cartels that frequently fight turf battles in the state.