The body of Rogelio Barragán’s was found at about 6:30 p.m. on July 30, 2019 in the trunk of a gray Volkswagen Jetta in the town of Zacatepec, in Morelos state, about 35 miles from Guerrero, according to local and national media. The reports said that his body showed signs of beatings on the neck and head.
Barragán, 47, was the founder of Guerrero Al Instante, a news website that he also reported for and edited. The website, based in Chilpancingo, the state capital of Guerrero, publishes regional news on politics, sports, social events, and crime. Articles in the weeks before his killing included news on murders in the cities of Taxco and La Garita. Barragán previously worked for the news websites Ecos de Guerrero and Agencia Informativa Guerrero, according a report by Mexico City magazine Zócalo, which covers press freedom and media issues.
The journalist’s colleagues told the Mexico representative for Reporters Without Borders that Barragán had recently stopped adding his byline to reports on crime and violence, citing concerns for his safety.
Several requests for comment by CPJ sent via social media to Guerrero Al Instante on July 31 remain unanswered.
An official at the Federal Mechanism for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders and Journalists, who asked for anonymity because they are not authorized to speak on the matter, told CPJ that Barragán was not enrolled in the federal protection scheme.
Ricardo Sánchez Pérez del Pozo, who heads the office of the Federal Special Prosecutor for Attention to Crimes Committed against Freedom of Expression, told CPJ on August 2, 2019 that his office had not opened an investigation in Barragán’s murder case.