On 2 August, the body of Ruben Espinosa was identified by his family. His body was found in a house in Mexico City, with two gunshot wounds, and evidence of repeated blows to the head. Four other bodies were found at the house, all female.
Family members reported his disappearance and, advised by ARTICLE 19, notified the authorities to instigate search protocols. Including Espinosa, 88 journalists have been murdered in Mexico since 2000.
In an interview with ARTICLE 19, family members disclosed that the last time they had had contact with the journalist was Friday at 2pm, when he had informed that he was on his way home.
Espinosa, photojournalist for Proceso, Agencia Cuartoscuro, and AVC Noticias, had left the state of Veracruz after receiving threats, and fled to Mexico City. Espinosa had specialized in photographing protests, and had continued his work as a journalist despite being a victim of forced displacement due to the violence in Veracruz, and the threats and attacks against him.
The murder of Ruben Espinosa marks a new peak in violence against the press in Mexico: it is the first time a displaced journalist has been murdered in Mexico City. ARTICLE 19 is deeply concerned that the capital city is no longer a safe refuge for the many displaced journalists.
“The violence of which Espinosa was victim is publicly known of by the authorities charged with protecting journalists in Mexico. This homicide puts the situation in Veracruz, and the negligence of local authorities in providing protection, sharply into focus;” commented ARTICLE 19’s Director for Mexico, Darío Ramírez.
Today, Mexico continues to be the most dangerous state for freedom of expression in Latin America.
ARTICLE 19 calls emphatically upon the Minister of the Interior and the National Commission for Human Rights to do everything possible to ensure justice. We also call for the Attorney General to take this case, and to allocate all resources necessary to find those responsible for the murder.