Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations
Public Safety

Mexican police arrest man who allegedly ordered murder of Tijuana photojournalist

Mexican authorities this week arrested the man accused of ordering the murder of Tijuana photojournalist Margarito Martinez Esquivel early this year.

Martinez was shot and killed outside his home while leaving for work the morning of January 17. He was one of 15 Mexican journalists who have been killed so far this year — making Mexico one of the most dangerous places in the world for journalists.

Baja California State Attorney General Ricardo Ivan Carpio announced the arrest of David Lopez Jimenez during a news conference Wednesday. He said Jimenez is a member of the Arellano-Felix cartel and called him the, “intellectual author” of Martinez’s murder.

The Tijuana-based journalism collective Yo Si Soy Periodista organized a protest outside of the prosecutor’s office in Tijuana Wednesday to demand more protections for journalists. It was part of a nationwide protest that included demonstrations in Mexico City and other parts of the country.

“It has been a very difficult year for us,” said Sonia De Anda, a member of Yo Si Soy Periodista.

Authorities said Jimenez ordered the killings because photographs of himself and his associates appeared in news publications and social media websites.

Carpio stated that even though Martinez was targeted for those photographs, he is not the person who actually published them.

Three men suspected of carrying out the shooting were arrested earlier this year. Prosecutors are scheduled to present their case against those men in a few weeks.

News of Jimenez’s arrest got mixed reactions.

More than 90% of violent crimes in Mexico go unpunished. There is a growing sense that the people responsible for killing Martinez and Lourdes Maldonado, another Tijuana journalist shot to death in January, will not be brought to justice.

“We do not have a lot of confidence in the authorities,” de Anda said.

De Anda pointed out that Jimenez had been arrested several times and was wanted in connection for another homicide and multiple missing persons cases. Yet, he was living under the radar and using a pseudonym in the state of Nuevo Leon.

“This isn’t the first time he’s been arrested by the police,” she said.

What questions do you have about the Statewide General Election coming up on Nov. 8? Submit your questions here, and we'll try to answer them in our reporting.