Photojournalist Jaime Castaño Zacarías was murdered on Wednesday, December 9th, in the Mexican state of Zacatecas.
The reporter was an administrator of the PrensaLibreMx news website, and worked in the social communication area of the Jerez City Council.
Castaño Zacarías was intercepted by armed persons while driving his motorcycle hours after having covered the discovery of two bodies on a highway, according to local media.
Zacatecas is experiencing a wave of violence due to the irruption of the Jalisco Nueva Generación Cartel in the area. Between Tuesday and Wednesday, 17 people were killed in different events. Among these deceased was reporter Jaime Castaño.
Castaño covered information independently and had several jobs, like many journalists in Mexico. On Wednesday, December 9th he had participated in an official act of the City Council. That same day he went to take photographs of the bodies and after leaving the scene, supposedly, a vehicle followed him until it reached him and shot him several times. Local media reports that the attackers took his camera.
If the authorities confirm that the photojournalist was killed for his work as a reporter, Castaño would be the sixth communicator killed this year for doing his job in Mexico. In the last two decades, at least 136 reporters have been murdered for reporting, according to Article 19, an international organization that defends freedom of expression and the right to information. In the last 10 years, members of the press in Mexico have suffered 3,918 attacks.
“The context of violence makes Zacatecas a high risk place for journalists in the region,” says a spokesperson for Article 19. Although the organization has not registered other murders of journalists in the State this year, it does highlight that the circumstances on Castaño’s attack coincide with those of journalist Israel Vázquez in Guanajuato, who was shot after documenting the discovery of a body.
Article 19 has urged the Government of Zacatecas and the State Attorney’s Office to investigate the murder of Castaño, taking the case as a priority.
Source: Article 19