El Sol del Istmo journalist Agustín Silva Vázquez is missing in one of the most dangerous areas in the world to be a journalist
Vázquez was last seen in the area of Matías Romero on Sunday night
His vehicle was found on January 22, in the El Morrito municipality of Asunción Ixtaltepec, Oaxaca
In 2017, 13 journalist were murdered in Mexico and 39 have been murdered since President Enrique Peña Nieto began his term on December 1, 2012
On January 21, 2018, El Sol del Istmo journalist Agustín Silva Vázquez disappeared from Mexico City with no leads indicating his current whereabouts.
Vázquez’s vehicle was found on January 22, in the El Morrito municipality of Asunción Ixtaltepec, Oaxaca. Oaxacan authorities were unable to provide any information on the disappearance of Vázquez or the discovery of the car.
Vázquez was last seen in the area of Matías Romero on Sunday night. It was reported that Vázquez left Matías Romero and was heading towards Juchitan, but he was drinking alcohol and may not have known his way.
Rubén Vasconcelos Méndez, Attorney General of the State of Oaxaca, stated that an investigation into the disappearance of Vázquez began on Monday morning. On Tuesday, the COMISION DE DERECHOS HUMANOS DEL DISTRITO FEDERAL requested Oaxaca Governor Alejandro Murat Hinojosa to “report the whereabouts” of Vázquez.
Since Enrique Peña Nieto began his term as President of Mexico on December 1, 2012, 39 journalists have been killed. Last December Gumaro Pérez Aguilando was killed in Acayucan, Veracruz, bringing the total number of journalists murdered in Mexico for 2017 to 13.
Aguilando was a reporter for La Voz del Sur. He was murdered while at his son’s elementary school for a Christmas play. It was reported that two gunmen entered the classroom Aguilando was in and shot him several times with 9-millimeter pistols. After Aguilando fell to the ground, the two gunmen fled the scene.
Aguilando had spent half his life reporting on drug trafficking and local crime in one of the most dangerous areas of the world to be a journalist. Aguilando’s wife Adelina Mendoza often warned him of the risks due to the high number of journalists that get murdered in the area. While she had her concerns, Mendoza never thought her husband’s death would happen in an elementary school classroom full of children.
Aguilando was the fourth journalist to be killed in Veracruz in 2017. The first journalist to be killed in the area was Ricardo Monlui Cabrera, in Yanga. On March 19, Cabrera was killed after leaving breakfast with his family. In Acayucan, on July 9, Honduran cameraman Edwin Rivera Paz was murdered, and on August 22, Cándido Ríos Vázquez became the third journalist murdered in the area.
Aguilando was part of a group of Acayucan journalists that came together to demand justice for Vázquez after he was gunned down by a commando outside a store in Juan Diaz Covarrubias, municipality of Hueyapan de Ocampo.
The State Commission for the Care and Protection of Journalists (CEAPP) have condemned Aguilando’s death, and requested the State Government to clarify the facts surrounding his death, and identify those responsible for his death.
The organization Article 19 claim that a journalist is attacked every 15.7 hours in Mexico. Between January and June of 2017, 1.5 attacks against a journalist were reported every day. It was reported public officials commit 50.7% of the attacks against journalists. The three most volatile areas to be a journalist in Mexico are Mexico City, Veracruz, and Coahuila.