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Two more Mexican journalists killed as reporters condemn worsening violence


Two more Mexican journalists killed as reporters condemn worsening violence

Mexican journalists have expressed alarm after two veteran reporters were attacked in their own homes in less than 24 hours, bringing this year’s death toll for media workers to nine – already surpassing the eight deaths recorded in 2020.

Fredy López Arévalo, a veteran reporter in the southern state of Chiapas, was shot in the head inside his home in the city of San Cristóbal de las Casas on Thursday. López had covered Central American politics and the Zapatista uprising for news organisations such as Reuters, the Los Angeles Times and Notimex, and he still reported on the local political situation.

On the same day, Acapulco journalist Alfredo Cardoso was pulled from his home by masked gunmen who also threatened his family. He was found the next day having been shot five times, and died from his injuries in hospital on Sunday, according to press freedom organization Reporters Without Borders.

Cardoso previously worked as a photojournalist in Acapulco, a city which was once the jewel in the crown of Mexican tourist destinations but has been a hotbed of drug cartel violence for more than a decade. More recently he was the manager of the online news site Revista Dos Costas.

“The situation for journalists in Acapulco and all of Guerrero [state] has worsened,” said Bernandino Hernández, a photojournalist in the coastal city.

“Journalists have been threatened, some have had to flee. It’s a really dicey situation,” he said.

No suspects have been arrested for either crime. Crimes committed against Mexican journalists almost always wallow in impunity – the product of inept and inadequate investigations, a lack of political will to stop the killings of media workers and frequent collusion between drug cartels.

The two attacks reinforced Mexico’s reputation as the most murderous country for journalists in the hemisphere.

The country’s murder rate has steadily risen since the then president Felipe Calderón declared a militarized crackdown on drug cartels in 2006.

In the same period, attacks on journalists have also skyrocketed. Analysts say those most at risk are reporters who cover the intersection between local politics and the drugs trade.

“These murders take place within a context of continuously deteriorating security in the country, for all citizens, but particularly for human rights defenders and journalists,” said Jan-Albert Hootsen, Mexico representative for the Committee to Protect Journalists.

“These attacks are fueled by impunity, which is almost complete in crimes against the press. The government of [President Andrés Manuel] López Obrador has been unwilling to take any meaningful steps to strengthen the justice state or protect journalists.”

Mexico recorded 36,773 homicides in 2020, in spite of the pandemic and quarantines, according to the state statistics service INEGI – slightly higher than the 36,661 homicides registered in 2019.

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Osun Transport Masterplan to Be Ready Soon-Governor Adeleke

Governor Ademola Adeleke has announced his administration’s plan to release to the public the Osun State Transport Master Plan to facilitate integrated connectivity for the Osun economy.

The Governor made the announcement on Thursday while commissioning the Osun State Computerised Vehicle Inspection Testing Center at Osogbo.

The Governor who narrated a series of ongoing reforms being delivered by his government said “The test center right here is the first of its kind among other interventions of our administration to reposition the State’s Transportation sector

According to the State Governor, “Our government is pursuing reforms across the transport sector. We ensure that Commercial Motorcycle operators across the State are registered under a database with a rider’s jacket and identification card for safety purposes. Mini-buses, popularly known as (Korope) have also been registered and numbered for easy identification and security.

“We have introduced single ticketing to all commercial drivers in the State through the Osun State Transport Management System (OSTMS) to guide against leakage of revenue.

“It is equally my pleasure to inform the public that our administration is working on a Transportation Master plan for Osun state. We are focused on a multimodal plan that will integrate all modes of transportation within the state. It will lay our objectives and strategic agenda for land, air, and water transportation.

“The plan is to regulate, plan, and develop an efficient and well-integrated transport system that will serve the public interest, enhance mobility, and deliver a secure and environmentally friendly Public Transportation System in different areas across Osun.

“The plan is central to our five-point agenda as it focuses on connectivity within and outside the state. Osun is centrally located in the heart of Yorubaland.

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Adeleke speaks on collapse of OAU amphitheatre

Governor Ademola Adeleke of Osun has promised to pay the medical bills of students injured in the Obafemi Awolowo University(OAU), Ile-Ife, Amphitheatre roof collapse.

The affected students are receiving treatment at the University Health Centre and the Teaching Hospital Complex (OAUTHC), Ile-Ife.

Adeleke, who was represented by the Commissioner for Education, Dipo Eluwole, sympathised with the management of the University and parents of the affected students on the unfortunate incident.

This is contained in a statement issued by the Public Relations Officer of the University, Mr Abiodun Olarewaju, in Ile-Ife on Saturday.

The commissioner was conducted round the scene of the incident by the Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Simeon Bamire, and other principal officers of the University, and visited the two health facilities where the students are receiving treatment.

He expressed happiness that the affected students are responding to the treatment.

Eluwole lauded the university management for its quick response to the emergency and prompt medical attention given to the students.

Speaking to the four students being treated at the University Health and Medical Centre, the commissioner commended their bravery and wished them quick recovery.

At the Neurological ward of the University Teaching Hospital where two other students are being treated, Eluwole pleaded with their parents to see what happened as a natural occurrence.

He, thereafter, informed the vice chancellor that the Gov. Adeleke pledged to bankroll all medical expenses that may be incurred in the course of the treatment of the students.

Responding, the vice-chancellor thanked the governor for being so kind and loving, stressing that his fatherly role to the students and the good people of Osun is commendable.

A torrential rain on Thursday morning, accompanied with a whirlwind affected a part of the ceiling of the Amphitheatre as it fell off and injured some students.

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Woman burns stepchildren’s hands for eating rice prepared for their father

The Adamawa State Police Command has arrested one Rachel Geoffrey, a 23-year-old woman and resident of Federal Housing Estate, Girei, for allegedly setting fire to the hands of her stepchildren.

The children, Genesis Geoffrey, seven years old: and Idadai Geoffrey, three years old, now have their affected hands bandaged.

The Police Public Relations Officer in the state, SP Suleiman Nguroje, said in a statement that Rachel intentionally inflicted severe physical injuries on her stepchildren.

In the statement released Saturday, the police image maker said the incident occurred on Tuesday, May 14.

He said the children suffered several calculated acts of cruelty and human rights violations from their stepmother.

He explained that the children faced the wrath of the woman over a plate of rice she cooked and kept for her husband.

“The kids, because of hunger, ate their father’s food and that angered her. She then tied their hands with a handkerchief and set fire to them, resulting in the severe injuries they sustained,” Nguroje explained.

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