Police officers stand at a crime scene where unknown assailants gunned down journalist Arturo Alba, in downtown Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, on October 29, 2020. (Reuters/Jose Luis Gonzalez)

Mexican journalist Arturo Alba shot and killed in Ciudad Juárez

Mexico City, November 2, 2020 – Mexican authorities must immediately undertake an exhaustive and credible investigation into the killing of journalist Arturo Alba Medina, and determine if he was killed in retaliation for his work, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today.

In the evening of October 29, unidentified assailants shot and killed Alba, host of the daily television news show “Telediario,” in Ciudad Juárez, in the northern Mexican state of Chihuahua, according to news reports and a statement from the municipal public security secretariat, which CPJ reviewed.

The journalist’s body was found shortly before 10 p.m. inside the car he was driving; he had been shot at least 10 times and died instantly, according to those reports.

Chihuahua Governor Javier Corral said in a statement that his government would use “all the necessary resources” to investigate the case.

“The brutal killing of Arturo Alba Medina is yet another reminder of the danger that Mexican journalists face on a daily basis,” said Jan-Albert Hootsen, CPJ’s Mexico representative. “Authorities much thoroughly investigate Alba’s case, determine whether he was killed for his work, and bring those responsible to account.”

“Telediario” is aired by privately owned broadcaster Multimedios Televisión, according to Raymundo Chagoyán, the broadcaster’s news director, who spoke with CPJ in a phone interview.

“We are all very shocked. [Alba] hadn’t told us anything that may have constituted a threat. He had been cheerful, nothing out of the ordinary,” Chagoyán told CPJ. He said that Alba covered local news in Juárez and the state of Chihuahua, and described his program as “light,” but said that Alba did sometimes cover issues of crime and security.

According to local news website La Verdad, Alba had recently covered the police killing of a young woman in Chihuahua, confrontations between alleged gang members and police, and alleged police corruption. CPJ was unable to review Alba’s latest broadcasts, which are not available online, and Chagoyán said he was unaware of what Alba had recently covered.

Chagoyán said that Alba also worked as a spokesperson for the Technological Institute of Ciudad Juárez, a local university, and had previously worked as a reporter for Canal 44 in Ciudad Juárez and Univisión in the neighboring U.S. city of El Paso, where he also lived. CPJ called the Technological Institute of Ciudad Juárez for comment but no one answered.

In a video of a press conference reviewed by CPJ, State Prosecutor César Peniche said that an investigation had been opened and that authorities assumed more than one person was involved in the attack.

CPJ messaged the Chihuahua state prosecutor’s office for comment, but did not receive any response.

According to CPJ research, at least four journalists in Mexico have been killed in direct relation to their work this year, the most in any country in 2020.