A Mexican journalist was shot to death at an elementary school Christmas party on Tuesday in the Gulf coast Veracruz, becoming the 12th journalist slain in the country this year.
At least two armed men entered the classroom and murdered Gumaro Pérez Aguilando in front of as parents, teachers and students, according the State Commission for the Care and Protection of Journalists,
Veracruz Gov. Miguel Angel Yunes condemned the attack and said he ordered state police to provide protection to the journalist’s family.
Perez covered crime news for a number of local outlets and had founded the online news site La Voz del Sur. He also worked for the local government in some capacity.
Pérez had been part of the safe coverage preventive program of the State Commission for Care and Protection of Journalists (CEAPP, for its acronym in Spanish) since 2015, according to the commission, according to the Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas at the University of Texas at Austin.
Mexico is one of the most dangerous places to be a journalist, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists. Reporters Without Borders. Since 2000, at least 111 media workers have been killed in the country, with 38 deaths occurring since Enrique Pena Nieto became president in December 2012, according to advocacy group Article 19.
On May 15, 2017, investigative reporter Javier Valdez Cárdenas was dragged from his car and shot dead in Culiacán in Sinaloa state. Valdez, who received CPJ's International Press Freedom Award in 2011, dedicated his life to telling the stories of the victims of Mexico's drug war. The office of the federal Special Prosecutor for Crimes against Freedom of Expression (FEADLE) has taken charge of his case, but no one has been arrested.