Mexico City, November 5, 2021 – Mexican authorities must immediately investigate the killing of journalist Alfredo Cardoso Echevarría and determine whether he was targeted because of his work as a journalist, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today.
Cardoso, founder and editor of online news magazine Las Dos Costas, was abducted on October 28 from his home in Acapulco, on the Pacific coast in the southern Mexican state of Guerrero, by a group of masked, armed men, according to news reports and Cardoso’s wife, who spoke to CPJ via phone but asked not to be named out of concerns for her safety. He was found the next day close to his residence with at least five gunshot wounds; despite being rushed to the hospital and undergoing surgery, he was pronounced dead on October 31, his wife said.
“The brazen abduction and brutal killing of Alfredo Cardoso Echevarría is just another example of the extreme risks faced by the Mexican press, which are compounded by the government’s inability to investigate and prosecute such attacks on the press,” said Jan-Albert Hootsen, CPJ’s Mexico representative. “It is imperative that the Mexican government take immediate steps to protect Cardoso’s family, investigate his killing, and bring the culprits to justice.”
According to news reports, Cardoso had previously worked as a photographer for several media outlets in Acapulco. CPJ was unable to locate more information about his prior work as a journalist and was unable to find the Las Dos Costas magazine online. Cardoso’s wife was unable to provide details on the journalist’s recent work.
On October 29, the Guerrero state prosecutor’s office (FGE), said in a statement on its Facebook page that it had opened an investigation into the killing, but did not provide further details. CPJ made several attempts to reach the FGE by telephone but no one picked up.
Guerrero state governor Evelyn Salgado condemned the killing on October 31 in a statement on Facebook. In the statement, she said that she had instructed her government to provide protection to Cardoso’s family and to investigate the incident.
An official with the Federal Mechanism for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders and Journalists, which operates under the auspices of the federal Interior Secretariat and coordinates protection programs for journalists and rights defenders at risk, told CPJ via messaging app that his institution was unaware of any threats against Cardoso’s life. He asked to remain anonymous as he is not authorized to speak on the matter.
Mexico is tied with India as the world’s deadliest country for journalists in 2021. According to CPJ research, at least three reporters in Mexico have been killed in direct relation to their work this year. In addition to Fredy López and Cardoso, CPJ is investigating at least four other journalist killings to determine whether they were related to their work, as well as the disappearance of a reporter in March of this year.