Thursday, February 2, 2023

Mexico: Journalist Ciro Gomez Leyva narrowly escapes an attack

MEXICO CITY ( Associated Press) – One of Mexico’s best-known journalists said Friday that two gunmen on a motorcycle tried to kill him on a Mexico City street last night.

The attack on Ciro Gómez Leyva was condemned by media professionals, politicians, and even President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, who frequently argues with him verbally.

Radio and television reporters posted descriptions of the attack and pictures of his camouflaged vehicle on social media.

He said the attack happened just before midnight on a road near his house and he survived because his truck is armored.

Gomez Leyva tweeted, “At 11:10 p.m., 200 meters from my house, two men on a motorcycle shot at me, apparently with the intention of killing me.” Photos showed that at least two bullets hit the driver’s side window.

The Mexico City attorney’s office said it has already launched an investigation.

This year has been the deadliest for Mexican media personnel with 15 deaths so far. But the killings and almost all attacks have targeted journalists in provincial towns.

López Obrador said, “He is a journalist, a human being, but he is also a leader of public opinion, and the loss of a personality like Ciro’s creates a lot of political instability.”

The President said, “We have differences, they are notorious, they are in the public domain, we will continue to have them, but it is completely condemnable that an attempt is made against a person’s life.”

In his popular morning radio show, Gomez Leyva said of the president: “I have no differences with him. We do our journalistic work.

Visibly shaken, Gómez Leyva said he did not know who may have ordered the attack. He said that several years ago he had received threats for publishing an article about extortion in a Mexico City prison. After that story in 2017, the company that hired him insisted he use an armored Jeep Cherokee.

They attacked him when he was on his way to his home in the south of the capital. He said he thought he heard two shots, maybe more. He turned to see a man firing at him from a motorcycle.

López Obrador and the city’s police chief vowed to investigate the attack and bring those responsible to justice.

But another reporter, Carlos Lloret de Mola, reported that López Obrador condemned the attack, and minutes later he criticized the press again.

In the past, López Obrador has used tax returns to publish graphs of Lloret de Mola’s alleged earnings.

López often uses his daily two-hour press conference to accuse Obrador Gómez Leyva and other prominent journalists who criticize him of being part of a conservative conspiracy against his government.

The president has often verbally attacked journalists, accusing them of being “sellouts,” “mercenaries” and “swindlers.” Press groups say the president’s hostile comments have contributed to making journalists less safe in Mexico.

2022 has been one of the worst years for journalists in Mexico, which is now considered the most dangerous country for journalists outside of a war zone.

While organized crime is often involved in the killings of journalists, in smaller towns politically or criminally motivated officers are also often suspected. Journalists running small media outlets in Mexico’s interior are easy targets.

Nation World News Desk
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