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Journalist Lourdes Maldonado was shot to death in Tijuana

With the death of Maldonado, three journalists were murdered in Mexico in the first weeks of the year.
Lourdes Maldonado López

Unidentified individuals killed Journalist Lourdes “Luby” Maldonado López was murdered Sunday outside her home in Tijuana on Sunday night. 

The national media correspondent, and director of her own newscast, with nearly 50 years of experience in journalism, was inside her car that was parked outside her home when she was shot in close proximity to her head, according to the prosecutor's office. There was more than one person who participated in the attack. 

Maldonado arrived at her home at approximately 7 p.m. The murderer arrived in a taxi, waited to shoot Maldonado, and collected the shell casings to get rid of the evidence.

The journalist had asked the president Andrés Manuel López Obrador for protection personally during a “morning” conference of the president. 

Maldonado had told the president that she feared for her life because she had sued the former governor of Baja California, Jaime Bonilla, owner of multiple media outlets, for nonpayment and benefits. 

The president of Mexico said this Monday that "you have to see the mobile, if there is a link to your labor complaint and see who is responsible, who were if there are intellectual authors, material".

López Obrador said that a lawsuit can't be automatically linked to a crime and called for a thorough investigation.

The conciliation and arbitration board ruled in favor of Maldonado on Jan.19. One of Bonilla's properties was seized to compensate Lourdes Maldonado for an amount that the journalist estimated at half a million pesos, about $25,000.

Last year, her vehicle was shot, and Maldonado had therefore agreed to be included in a protection program, an official protocol to protect human rights defenders and journalists. According to police, Maldonado accepted that the protection program is limited to a daily visit by a police patrol who signed their presence in a notebook.

The community of journalists on both sides of the border between Baja California and San Diego County expressed dismay at the murder of Lourdes Maldonado López, the second murder of a journalist in Tijuana in less than a week. Just on Jan.17, photojournalist Margarito Martínez Esquivel was also killed outside his home.

With the death of Maldonado, three journalists were murdered in Mexico in the first weeks of the year. On Jan. 10, unknown individuals stabbed ten times to death journalists José Luis Gamboa, director of Inforegio, a media outlet, in the port of Veracruz.

According to the international organization Reporters Without Borders, Mexico is the most dangerous country in which to practice journalism, often more risky than covering areas with armed conflicts.