Journo Gunned Down After Mention of Missing Students

Fredid Roman found dead in Mexico, after alleging local pols' involvement in students' disappearance
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 23, 2022 8:01 AM CDT
Journo Gunned Down After Mention of Missing Students
Stock photo.   (Getty Images/pashapixel)

On Monday, a Mexican journalist reported online about what's acknowledged to be one of his country's "worst human-rights disasters," per NDTV—the disappearance of 43 Mexican college students in 2014. Later Monday, the reporter, Fredid "Fredy" Roman, was fatally gunned down, per the local prosecutor's office, found dead in his car in Guerrero state's capital of Chilpancingo. The case of the missing students had recently reemerged after various state institutions—including the Mexican military and federal police—were implicated in their disappearance in a new report commissioned by President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador.

Hours before he died, Roman—who typically posted his articles via a local newspaper and on social media—had put up a lengthy Facebook post entitled "State Crime Without Charging the Boss," in which he pointed the finger at local politicians regarding the students who vanished eight years ago while headed to a protest. Local media report that Roman was ambushed by armed attackers on motorcycles and shot in his car, reports Reuters. Still, it's not clear if Roman's death was tied to his reporting on this or on any other news story he'd worked on, or if it was perhaps linked to his involvement in helping to plan a local fair as a representative for community businesses.

Anywhere between nine and 21 journalists have been killed in Mexico this year, according to various reports from media, government sources, and the Reporters Without Borders nonprofit. Three of those murders have taken place just over the last month. According to Reporters Without Borders, Mexico has seen around 150 journalists murdered over the past two decades. CBS News notes that, not counting war zones, Mexico is now considered the most dangerous country for members of the press. (Read more Mexico stories.)

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