by Photo by Manuel Ocaño

Journalists from the collective Yo Sí Soy Periodista from Baja California demanded on Thursday that President Andrés Manuel López Obrador investigate the murders of five Mexican reporters this year and cease the impunity of attacks against the press in Mexico. 

"Our union is very hurt, as in all of Mexico. We work under the shadow of being attacked and killed for doing our job. The crimes committed against us are not clarified,"said Sonia de Anda, a journalist leader and president of the collective. 

"Here in Tijuana where we buried two of our colleagues, Margarito Martínez and Lourdes Maldonado, in less than a week, we will not stop demanding justice because the truth is not killed by killing journalists," said De Anda, news chief of Esquina 32.

The protest took place during the president's usual "morning" conference, This time from the Morelos Barracks in Tijuana.

While inside the barracks, about 32 journalists were presenting the names of the five journalists murdered this year. Another group of border reporters on the street in front of the barracks said “present” when hearing the name of each one of those five journalists.

"They are journalists who should have been here today with us, but who were not able to," said video reporter José Ibarra.

The cries of "present" went to José Luis Gamboa, Margarito Martínez Esquivel, Lourdes Maldonado López, Roberto Toledo and Heber López Vásquez.

The demonstrations of journalists, inside and outside the Morelos Barracks, were carried out peacefully and without incident.

President López Obrador responded to the journalists and decided to hold the “morning” conference in Tijuana to talk about the murders.

"What we want is for there to be information, we have nothing to hide, absolutely nothing and there is no impunity, so it is being reported," said the president.

López Obrador especially lamented the death of Lourdes Maldonado, a journalist who in 2019 went precisely to the president's "morning" in Mexico City, where he warned that he feared for his life.

“It is very unfortunate, her death and all the murders, but we are not acting indolently. So explain or inform why they don’t give more elements about the investigation, "the president said.

He said that “if the Public Ministry, the judges, do not report, we are going to continue doing so. I would like it to be clarified if it is not being reported, because what we are doing now is the information from all the dependencies, from the Prosecutor's Office General, the State Prosecutor's Office.”

The journalists then questioned why the hearings on the murders of Lourdes Maldonado and Margarito Martínez are being held behind closed doors.

The response came from the Secretary of Security and Citizen Protection, Rosa Icela Rodríguez, and her Undersecretary, Ricardo Mejía Berdeja, who clarified that the hearings on the homicides are held behind closed doors to protect a witness.

Some questions remained unanswered, such as one in which they mentioned that the murderers of the two Tijuana journalists are members of the same criminal organization.

Journalist Alejandra Guerra said on balance, it was valuable to know that the authorities continue the investigations and that they do it in secret to protect a witness, but considered that the president went ahead and exonerated the former governor of Baja California, Jaime Bonilla, when the authorities were going to investigate.

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