Luis Carlos Santiago, 21, a photographer with the daily El Diario, died around 2:45 p.m. after he and photographer Carlos Sánchez Colunga, 18, were shot by gunmen in the parking lot of a shopping mall in Ciudad Juárez, the local press said. Santiago was found dead in the vehicle parked in the mall in downtown Juárez. Sánchez is recovering in the hospital from non-life-threatening injuries, according to the newspaper.
“We are shocked by this brutal attack against our colleagues,” said Carlos Lauría, CPJ’s senior program coordinator for the Americas. “In vast parts of Mexico, the media is under siege from criminal organizations. The Mexican federal government must immediately intervene in this crisis of national dimension. We urge President Felipe Calderón to make the protection of free expression a priority of his national agenda.”
A Committee to Protect Journalists report released September 8, “Silence or Death in Mexico’s Press,” reveals how drug-fueled crime, violence, and corruption have devastated the country’s press corps and destroyed citizens’ rights to freedom of expression and access to information.
Eight journalists have been killed in Mexico in 2010, not including the murder today. CPJ is investigating to determine whether those deaths were related to the journalists’ work.
A joint CPJ-Inter American Press Association delegation will meet with Calderón September 22 to discuss Mexico’s grave press freedom crisis.
EDITOR’S NOTE: The name of the injured photographer and his condition has been added in the second paragraph.