“HEARST” for Borderland Beat
|Left: Journalist Gustavo Sánchez Cabrera, killed June 17 2021.
Right: Mayor Vilma Martínez Cortés, who journalist Sánchez accused of orchestrating a previous attack on him, poses with President Andrés Manuel López Obrador.
In less than 24 hours, two journalists have been killed in Mexico. In the state of Mexico, the dead body of former journalist Enrique García was found on board his vehicle at midnight meanwhile journalist Gustavo Sánchez Cabrera was shot in Tehuantepec, Oaxaca.
The most recent reports indicate former journalist Enrique García was working as a cab driver in the DiDi system and the State Attorney General’s Office preliminarily indicated that the attack on Enrique García was the result of an attempted robbery unrelated to his work.
But and however, Gustavo Sánchez Cabrera, the reporter who was killed in Oaxaca, is the story of the journalist who did everything he was supposed to do.
He went through all the necessary bureaucratic processes in order to request protection. He was officially granted that protection by a federal mechanism that was created to defend journalists.
And yet he was still killed because that protection never materialized.
The Death of Gustavo Sánchez Cabrera
At approximately 8 am on the morning of Thursday June 17 2021, journalist Gustavo Sánchez Cabrera was riding a motorcycle with his 15 year old son on the road between San Vicente and Morro Mazatán in the municipality of Santo Domingo Tehuantepec, within the state of Oaxaca. Sánchez Cabrera and his son reportedly were travelling to the local cemetery when a group of unknown armed individuals opened fire on them.
|Photo of journalist Gustavo Sánchez Cabrera.|
Details of the attack on Sánchez Cabrera differ. Newspaper El Universal reports that unknown individuals shot him in the head and fled in a green car. Whereas Milenio newspaper reports that the armed unknown individuals fled on foot, running down a dirt road after the attack on Sánchez Cabrera.
By the time paramedics arrived at the scene of the shooting, Sánchez Cabrera no longer showed vital signs. His son was injured and had to be transferred to the hospital by ambulance. The current condition of his son is unknown at this time.
“His activity affected some interest and we are reviewing that part, we will proceed with full force, an aggression to any person who gives a voice to those who have no voice, is an aggression to society,” said Peimbert.
He Had Been Shot Before for his Journalism
Vilma Martínez Cortés, the municipal president that Sánchez Cabrera accused ordering an attack on him in 2020, poses with President Andrés Manuel López Obrador.
He Was Granted Security That Never Materialized
After identifying his attacker to the Prosecutor’s Office and seeing that the person was not detained, Sánchez Cabrera tried a different route. He chose to publicly give testimony as to the identity of his attacker.
This testimony was a part of his official request for security measures that would protect him and his family from future attacks from the Human Rights Ombudsman (DDHPO), an organization that reviews and issues security as precautionary measures to journalists.
Just the days before his death Sánchez Cabrera had demanded the security he was granted be delivered.
“Yesterday was the last time I spoke with him and he told me ‘I still don’t have anything. I’m still waiting, you don’t know how terrible that is’,” said the person familiar with Sánchez Cabrera to the Associated Press.
“We asked the Oaxaca Prosecutor’s Office for a thorough investigation of the acts of aggression and threats that he had denounced at the time related to his journalistic work,” Reporters Without Borders indicated on his official Twitter account. “We regret that the protective measures… came too late.”
For Jan-Albert Hootsen, representative in Mexico of the Committee to Protect Journalists, an NGO based in New York, the murder of Sánchez is a clear example that the dangerous situation for the press in Mexico “has not changed.”
“The government was clearly disregarding its obligations,” said Hootsen.
Sources: El Pais, BillieParkerNoticias, TN
Gustavo Sánchez Cabrera Sources: Milenio , Associated Press, El Universal, El Pinero, ADN 40, CNN Espanol, Turquesa News, Explica
Felipe Enrique García García Sources: Meganoticias, El Sol de Toluca, Etcétera, Nacion321
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