On August 2nd, Ernesto Méndez, the director of the digital media platform Tu Voz, was shot to death by several men in his family’s bar alongside three other people. Méndez had received threats in the past for his reporting which frequently covered politics and violence in Guanajuato. His murder marks the thirteenth killing of a journalist in Mexico to date this year, a figure which puts Mexico ahead of all other countries in terms of lethality for journalists.
On the morning of June 29th, the journalist Antonio de la Cruz was shot to death by unidentified assailants in Ciudad Victoria, the capital of the northern Mexican state of Tamaulipas, as he was leaving his house in his car with his 23-year-old daughter. De la Cruz worked for Expreso, a local newspaper where he had been employed as a journalist for nearly three decades. De la Cruz covered environmental and agricultural issues in Expreso and did not report on crime, security, or politics, according to a source cited by the Committee to Protect Journalists. On his widely followed Twitter account, De la Cruz posted information critical of the governor of Tamaulipas and of municipal authorities. This is not the first time Expreso has been subject to intimidation. In 2018, a human head was left in an icebox outside Expresso's offices, accompanied by a message threatening local journalists. In 2012, a car bomb exploded near the newspaper’s offices. De la Cruz was the twelfth journalist murdered in 2022, an alarming escalation in violence compared with 2021 when during a span of twelve months seven journalists were murdered. Since President Andrés Manuel López Obrador took office three years ago, 37 journalists have been murdered and attacks on the press have risen by 85 percent.
Mexican civil society organizations have presented guidelines for public policies to protect journalists and human rights defenders. The guidelines include ensuring full compliance with the 104 recommendations issued by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in Mexico to strengthen the Protection Mechanism.
In June, Representatives Jesús “Chuy” García (IL-04), Joaquin Castro (TX-20), and Raúl M. Grijalva (AZ-03) led two letters urging the U.S State Department, the Justice Department, and the U.S Agency for International Development to work with the Mexican government to address the rising levels of violence in Mexico.