Being a Journalist in Mexico Can Be Deadly

This article is from the archive of our partner .

Marco Avila, a reporter in Sonora, Mexico was buried over the weekend after being found in a black garbage bag. He's the sixth current or former journalist killed in Mexico in less than a month. Considering the number of gruesome atrocities committed by the country's drug cartels (the latest being the 49 decapitated, hand-less, foot-less bodies found on the side of a highway), it makes sense that the people covering the news in these areas have become targets too

"Marco Avila, a veteran police reporter in the northern border state of Sonora, was kidnapped Thursday at a car wash in his Sonora hometown of Ciudad Obregon by three masked gunmen who demanded to know if he was a journalist,"reports The Los Angeles Times' Tracy Wilkinson. "The tortured body of the 39-year-old Avila was found in a black garbage bag dumped on the side of a road a day later."

Avila's death follows the death of  three photojournalists. The bodies of photographers Gabriel Huge Cordova, Guillermo Luna and former news photographer Esteban Rodriguez were found dismembered earlier this month. And Wilkinson mentions the stories of former journalist and current politician Rene Orta Sagado was found dead in a car trunk on May 13, while reporter Regina Martinez was found slain in her home in late April.  

Recommended Reading

"Despite the outpouring of outrage expressed after Avila's killing and other similar crimes, few cases are ever thoroughly investigated or solved," reports Wilkinson. And she's right. According to The Committee to Protect Journalists, Mexico ranks 8th when it comes to murders going unpunished with 15 unsolved murders. Though with this recent spate of killings and Mexico's current state of "learned helplessness," it looks like the country will continue to rise in the ranks and journalists continue to be targeted.

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.