The IPI global network strongly condemns the killing of veteran journalist Luis Enrique Ramírez, the ninth journalist to be slain in Mexico in 2022. The government must ensure that authorities conduct a swift, independent, and thorough investigation into his murder to determin the motive and ensure all perpetrators are brought to justice. The Mexican government must take immediate action to stop the escalating violence against the press by ensuring that crimes against all journalists and media workers are not carried out with impunity.

On May 5 the body of journalist Ramírez was found beaten to death, his body wrapped in plastic on the side of a road in Culiácan in Sinaloa, located on the western coast of Mexico.

Ramírez was a veteran journalist and columnist for newspaper El Debate, which is one the most-read media outlets in the country. He worked as a journalist for more than 40 years. Ramírez was a well-known figure who worked for several media outlets over the years including El País, Cuartoscuro, and Reforma. He recently founded a digital newspaper, Fuentes Fidedignas, where he reported local news.

The Guardian wrote that Ramirez for several years had felt he was in danger because of his work. He had told a local media outlet several years ago that he felt he might be next in line “because there is a pattern [of murders] in which I fit”.

The murder of Ramírez has been widely denounced by both governmental and private organizations, politicians, and human rights organizations. The Congress of the State of Sinaloa condemned the murder on Twitter and demanded justice for the murdered journalist. Mexican presidential spokesperson Jesus Cuevas wrote on Twitter that the federal government condemns the murder of Ramírez and will work with local government to investigate the case. He also promised the government will “strengthen security measures for journalists”.

“We condemn the murder of Luis Enrique Ramírez in the strongest terms and offer condolences to his friends and family,” IPI Deputy Director Scott Griffen said. “The endemic impunity for crimes against journalists in Mexico must end. We demand the Mexican government hold the perpetrators accountable and improve the safety of journalists.”

The killing of Ramírez highlights the escalating dangers for the press in Mexico, which is the deadliest country in the world for journalists, according to IPI’s Death Watch. Ramírez is the 34th journalist to be killed during the administration of current president Andrés Manuel López Obrador, who was elected president of Mexico in 2018.

In February, IPI published a full-page print ad in The Washington Post calling on Mexico to end impunity for the many horrific killings of journalists in the country. At least 150 journalists have been killed in Mexico in the last 25 years, according to IPI’s monitoring data. Most of the killings of journalists remain unresolved.