Mexican reporter killed right before broadcast on human remains

Joseph Wilkinson, New York Daily News
·2 min read

Multiple gunmen fatally shot a reporter Monday in Mexico seconds before he was going to film a live broadcast on human remains he had found.

Israel Vazquez, who worked for digital media outlet El Salmantino, was the first person on the scene, Mexican magazine Proceso reported. He even beat authorities in the town of Salamanca, about 175 miles northwest of Mexico City.

Vazquez discovered the remains in a plastic bag, and was about to start a Facebook Live stream when he was shot at least 11 times, according to Reuters. The killers then drove off, and Vazquez died at a hospital. No one has been arrested in the case.

El Salmantino called the attack “cowardly and atrocious.” Vazquez had arrived in a company car that had the outlet’s logo on it, identifying him as a reporter, Proceso reported.

But that may have just made him a bigger target. Mexico is the most dangerous country in the world for journalists, according to data from the Committee to Project Journalists. CPJ said he’s the third Mexican reporter to be killed in the past two weeks.

In September, the body of Julio Valdivia, a 41-year-old crime reporter, was discovered decapitated in the Gulf coast state of Veracruz. Valdivia and Vazquez were two of nine journalists killed in Mexico in 2020, according to Reporters Without Borders.

The Guanajuato state’s attorney promised a special team to investigate Vazquez’s murder. Guanajuato is the deadliest state in Mexico because of an ongoing turf war between drug cartels. Last month, 59 bodies were found in a secret graves near Salvatierra, about 35 miles southeast of where Vazquez was killed.

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