VERACRUZ, Mexico – Journalist Pedro Tamayo has been shot dead at his home in the Mexican Gulf coast state of Veracruz, the Aztec nation’s deadliest for members of the media, officials said Thursday.
Two assailants arrived late Wednesday in a vehicle at the crime reporter’s home in the town of Tierra Blanca, fired at him in front of his family and then fled the scene.
The 43-year-old journalist died of his gunshot wounds at a local hospital, the Veracruz Attorney General’s Office said in a statement, adding that a special operation has been launched to locate and apprehend the suspects.
Tamayo had fled Tierra Blanca after being linked this year to businessman Francisco Navarrete Serna, whom authorities accuse of being the Cartel Jalisco Nueva Generacion’s boss in Tierra Blanca and the person behind the kidnap-murder in January of five youths in that municipality.
Authorities have arrested Navarrete Serna, Tierra Blanca police chief Marcos Conde Hernandez and seven other officers for the alleged forced disappearance of the youths.
Navarrete Serna wanted to enter the media business and expand his influence in the area by opening a newspaper and had contacted Tamayo with that purpose in mind.
Security forces located the journalist in the neighboring state of Oaxaca, and Veracruz’s State Commission for the Attention and Protection of Journalists, or CEAPP, then transferred him to Tijuana and provided him with protection.
But CEAPP, which condemned Tamayo’s murder in a statement, said the reporter had renounced the protection provided him some time ago and decided to return home of his own accord and at his own risk.
Tamayo’s death brings the number of journalists killed in Veracruz state since 2010 to 19.