A Mexican journalist who often covered crime and drug gangs in northern Sonora state has died after being shot at point-blank range in his home near the US border, local authorities said.
Santiago Barroso, 47, was shot multiple times after an unknown assailant knocked on his front door on Friday, the state prosecutor’s office said in a statement on Saturday. He was pronounced dead later at a hospital.
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Barroso worked as a multimedia journalist in the border town of San Luis Rio Colorado, about 32 kilometres southwest of Yuma, Arizona on the US side.
He was a host of a local radio show, director of the news website Red 563 and a contributor to weekly newspaper Contrasena.
“With great regret and impotence, we inform that the journalist Santiago Barroso, 47 years old, was murdered in San Luis Rio Colorado, in Sonora Mexico,” Red 563 tweeted on Friday.
“Tonight, colleagues wait outside the hospital where he passed away .. after [an] armed man knocked on the door of his house and shot him [dead].”
Con gran pesar e impotencia informamos q el #periodista Santiago Barroso, d 47 años, fue asesinado en San Luis Río Colorado, #Sonora #Mexico.
Esta noche, colegas aguardan afuera dl hospital donde falleció Vie/23:00 hrs. Hombre(s) armado tocó a la puerta d su casa y le disparó. pic.twitter.com/LPr4gEBFTq
— Red Sonora de Periodistas (@SonoraRed) March 16, 2019
While it was unclear if the killing was linked to his work, Barroso’s death marks the fourth journalist killed so far this year in Mexico.
Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has vowed to put an end to the murders and insecurity that are plaguing the country, but it is proving difficult.
“The population of the country is in a state of defencelessness,” he recently said.
“This partially explains, although it doesn’t justify, why [we have] only managed to contain the crime, but not significantly decrease it as we wish.”
Alfonso Durazo, Mexico’s security minister, pledged federal government assistance in the investigation into Barroso’s killing in a post on Twitter.
In the past six years, during the presidency of Enrique Pena Nieto, 47 journalists were killed, according to free-speech advocacy group Article 19.
Mexico is the second most dangerous country in the world to practise journalism after Syria, with more than 100 journalists killed since 2000, according to Reporters Without Borders.