Mexican officials said on Saturday they would investigate the murder of a journalist in the Gulf coast state of Veracruz who was the third reporter to be killed in a week in Mexico as the country grapples with a record murder rate.

Jorge Celestino Ruíz Vázquez

, a reporter at the Grafico de Xalapa newspaper in Veracruz’s capital, died in spite of procedures in place to protect him, the state prosecutor’s office said.

“The prosecutor will investigate why protection measures granted to the victim and his family , which were active, were not enforced ,” the entity said in a statement.

Ruiz’s death brings the murder toll of Mexican journalists this year to at least eight compared with nine last year, according to free-speech advocacy group Article 19 .

Edgar Alberto Nava López

, director of Commercial-Industrial Activities and Public Shows of the council of Zihuatanejo and also the administrator of the Facebook page “ La Verdad de Zihuatanejo ” focused on publishing news was shot and killed on Friday.

Earlier last week, journalist Rogelio Barragán Pérez who covered the police in the same state was found dead in the trunk of a vehicle with signs he had been shot and tortured.

Murders in Mexico jumped in the first half of the year to the highest on record, according to official data. The spiraling violence underscores the challenges President Andrés Manuel López Obrador has faced since taking office in December with a vow to reduce violence in the country ravaged by notorious drug cartels .

Ruíz had reported death threats in October and November of 2018, said Ana Laura Pérez , president of Veracruz’s commission to protect journalists ( CEAPP ), in an interview with Veracruz news outlet XEU Noticias .

She added that Ruiíz had been shot and killed at his home in a municipality near Xalapa .

Veracruz’s governor, Cuitláhuac García , said on Friday evening that efforts had already begun to find the people responsible for Ruiz’s death.

“We condemn the cowardly murder of a reporter from a local outlet, Jorge Ruíz,” he said on Twitter . “ His killing will not go unpunished .”


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