Mexican journalist shot dead at son's school Christmas celebration

Gumaro Pérez Aguilando, who regularly wrote about security and drug trafficking, was murdered in Acayucan, Veracruz, where at least three journalists have been killed
A demonstrator holds a candle as she takes part during a demonstration against the murder of journalists who were killed in Mexico – Photo:Henry Romero/ REUTERS
20/12/2017
18:19
Newsroom/EL UNIVERSAL in English
Reuters
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On Tuesday, a journalist was shot dead in Veracruz, central Mexico, as he attended a Christmas celebration at his son’s school, the latest murder in the country’s deadliest year on record for media workers.

Gumaro Pérez Aguilando, 35, who regularly wrote about security and drug trafficking, was shot at four times and killed in the Acayucan municipality, where at least three journalists have been killed in the state.

Pérez worked for Golfo Sur and Voz del Sur, among other media organizations.

“We’re in shock, waiting for them to hand over the body and see what we’re going to do together with his family,” said journalists’ group Asociacion de Periodistas Independientes de Acayucan, to which Pérez belonged.

A lone gunman entered Pérez’s 6-year-old son’s classroom, where the Christmas celebration was being held and fired at Pérez, the group said, citing witnesses.

Ana Laura Pérez Mendoza, President of the State Commission for the Care and Protection of Journalists said Gumaro Pérez had requested to be in their program since 2015, yet he had not reported any threats against him.

On Twitter, Miguel Ángel Yunes Linares, Governor of Veracruz, wrote in Spanish: "I strongly regret the devious and cowardly aggression against journalist Gumaro Pérez Aguilando. I have instructed the Secretary of Public Security to protect his family. The state Attorney General has sent a special group to investigate the crime. We will maintain contact with the State Commission for the Care and Protection of Journalists."

While Roberta Jacobson, U.S. ambassador to Mexico, wrote in Spanish: “The death of Gumaro Pérez Aguilando who worked for Voz del Sur in Veracruz offends me. Cowardly murderers killed him in front of his son in an elementary school. Outraged by the death of another brave journalist in Mexico. Justice for his family.”

Duncan Taylor, UK ambassador to Mexico, condemned Perez’s death in a post on Twitter as well, writing that he “condemns the murder of journalist Gumaro Pérez in Acayucan, Veracruz. My sincere condolences to his family. Freedom of expression is vital to build a successful society. The United Kingdom is committed to supporting journalists' protection around the world.”

At least 65 media workers were killed worldwide this year, including 50 professional journalists the organization Reporters Without Borders said on Tuesday, adding that Mexico is one of the most dangerous places to be a journalist.

Since 2000, at least 111 media workers have been killed in Mexico, with 38 deaths since Enrique Peña Nieto became president in December 2012, advocacy group Article 19 says.

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