One of Mexico’s most prominent faces in television news survived an assassination attempt near his home in the capital Mexico City. The attack on Ciro Gómez Leyva marks one of the most brazen attacks on a journalist Mexico has seen in decades
Ciro Gómez Leyva, a news anchor for the national news network Grupo Imagen, was driving a bulletproof SUV when a motorcycle pilot opened fire on him late Thursday night. Gomez was not injured, but the attack highlighted a significant escalation of violence against Mexican journalists under President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, popularly known as Amlo.
At a press conference on Friday, the president condemned the attack on Gómez. “He is a journalist, a human being, but also a leader of public opinion. Injuring a figure like Ciro creates a lot of political instability,” Amlo said.
Hours after surviving the assassination attempt, Levya was back at work on Friday and broadcasted his usual news briefings and debates on the Grupo Imagen news channel. Guests at his show admired his commitment in Spanish and praised the way even an assassination attempt couldn’t halt his TV news schedule.
According to the Committee to Protect Journalists, 42 journalists were killed during the first three years of Amla’s presidency. This compares to forty-five journalists killed during the entire six-year term of the last president, Enrique Peña Nieto.
Earlier, Rubén Espinoza, a photographer for Proceso Magazine, fled the state of Veracruz to Mexico City after receiving death threats while covering corruption allegations against then-governor Javier Duarte. In 2015, he was shot dead in his apartment along with four other people.
Mexico is considered one of the most dangerous places in the world to be a journalist. Until September this year, fifteen reporters have been murdered, according to the data compiled by Boston University Radio.
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