(Bloomberg) -- The Mexican government pledged to investigate the killing of a journalist, the third reporter assassinated this year in the Western Hemisphere’s most dangerous country for the press.
Lourdes Maldonado, a Tijuana-based radio journalist, was shot outside her home on Sunday, adding to the killings of Margarito Martinez and Jose Luis Gamboa earlier this month. Maldonado in 2019 publicly asked President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador for help in a labor dispute, saying she felt threatened.
“I fear for my life,” Maldonado said at the time, according to video footage that circulated after her death.
Maldonado had been protected under a state program for at-risk journalists since 2021, according to daily newspaper La Jornada. She had earlier this month won her dispute with a media company owned by Jaime Bonilla, the former governor of Baja California state, after claiming she was unjustly fired and owed compensation, La Jornada said.
“We have to determine who were the intellectual authors and who were the material authors,” AMLO, as the president is known, said in a Monday press briefing. “We cannot automatically link a labor complaint with a crime.”
Bonilla hasn’t publicly commented on the case and didn’t immediately respond to a request sent through his Twitter account.
The president blamed previous government policies for the murders of journalists Mexico continues to face, but the violent attacks has put pressure on his administration after failing to reverse the wave of assassinations. Mexico is one of the world’s most dangerous countries for the press, according to The Committee to Protect Journalists, a non-profit organization which has counted 147 reporters killed in the country since 2000.
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