UN urges Mexico to investigate latest journalist murder

MEXICO CITY (AFP) - The United Nations urged Mexico on Tuesday (Dec 4) to investigate the murder of journalist Jesus Alejandro Marquez, the 10th reporter killed this year in what is one of the world's deadliest countries for the press.

Mr Marquez, who ran an online news site called Orion Informativo, disappeared last Friday and was found dead the next day along a road in the city of Tepic, in the western state of Nayarit.

His body had multiple bullet wounds.

"The Mexico office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights calls on the authorities to carry out a prompt investigation of the murder... and bring those responsible to justice," it said in a statement.

"The impunity that reigns in the majority of cases of violence against journalists (in Mexico) is part of what contributes to the repetition of these terrible incidents."

Mr Marquez's body was found on the same day Mexico's new President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador took office.

The media rights group Reporters Without Borders called on the new leader to "make protecting journalists a priority for his administration", and urged the authorities to examine Mr Marquez's political reporting as a likely motive in his killing.

Mr Marquez was known for "vigorously reporting on the relationship between local officials and organised crime", it said in a statement.

The journalist had also been a candidate for local office in Mexico's July 1 elections for Mr Lopez Obrador's left-wing party, Morena.

Racked by violent crime linked to its powerful drug cartels and fuelled by political corruption, Mexico is the second-deadliest country in the world for journalists after war-torn Syria, according to Reporters Without Borders.

More than 100 have been murdered in the country since 2000.

The vast majority of the cases have gone unpunished - as do more than 90 per cent of violent crimes in Mexico.