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Mexican journalist who survived 2019 assassination attempt killed near Acapulco; adds to growing list of slain reporters

MEXICO CITY (AP) — Another journalist was killed in Mexico on Saturday, adding to a growing list of reporters who have lost their lives amid an intensifying drug war in the country, authorities and a press freedom organization said.

Nelson Matus was shot to death on the fringes of Acapulco in southwestern Mexico, officials and Article 19 confirmed. Matus had been the director of a local news organization, Lo Real de Guerrero, which covered the intensifying violence in the Mexican state of Guerrero.

He had already survived an assassination attempt in 2019, according to Article 19. Local authorities said they were investigating the killing.

Matus’ death comes just a week after the grisly killing of another journalist in western Mexico, something the Committee to Protect Journalists said “underscores the crisis of deadly violence and impunity that continues to plague the Mexican press.”

Marta Durán, a Mexican journalist, reads a statement during a protest to demand justice after the murder in Nayarit of La Jornada reporter Luis Martin, in Mexico City, Monday, July 10, 2023. (AP Photo/Marco Ugarte)

The death illustrates a concerning uptick in the murders of reporters in Mexico and the toll the country’s intensifying drug war has taken on local newsrooms, which often report more microscopically on the violence. Matus’ newsroom is no exception.

For years, the seaside city of Acapulco was largely known for its beach resorts, but it has increasingly become a hub for narco violence. On the same day Matus was reported killed, the news organization published a story about authorities finding a dead body in a bag near a tourist beach in the city.

In the past five years alone, CPJ documented the killings of at least 52 journalists in Mexico. Last year, Mexico was one of the deadliest places in the world for journalists, second only to Ukraine.

On Saturday, Matus’ news organization mourned his death on social media, saying “we extend our condolences to his family and join together in prayer for his eternal rest.”

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