Journalist gunned down in Mexican resort town

Ruben Pat is seen in this photo uploaded to Facebook on February 19, 2014. (REUTERS)
Updated 25 July 2018

Journalist gunned down in Mexican resort town

  • Around seven other journalists have died violently in Mexico this year

MEXICO CITY: A journalist was fatally shot in the Mexican beach resort town of Playa del Carmen, state prosecutors said on Tuesday, less than a month after he complained of being beaten and threatened by local police.
Gunmen opened fire on Ruben Pat, 42, founder of website Playa News, in the early hours of Tuesday outside a bar near the beach, prosecutors from the state of Quintana Roo said in a statement. The bar was not within any of the area’s many resorts.
Pat’s killing was the latest in a growing list of fatalities in a country that has become notorious for violent attacks on media workers.
Less than a month ago, another journalist at Playa News was shot to death in another part of the state.
Pat covered security matters and had been receiving threats for the past six months, according to one of his colleagues, who asked to remain anonymous for fear of facing reprisals.
The New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) said in June that Pat had told them that month he was assaulted by municipal police officers.
“They told me to stop publishing articles about a local police chief, and that I knew what would be coming to me if I didn’t,” Pat said, according to the CPJ.
Police in the municipality of Solidaridad, which includes Playa del Carmen, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Quintana Roo, which is home to the resort city of Cancun, was long one of Mexico’s safest states, but security has deteriorated as gangs fight to control lucrative drug markets.
At least seven other journalists have died violently in Mexico this year, according to data supplied by various non-governmental organizations.


Greece moves more migrants to mainland as arrivals increase

Updated 14 min 14 sec ago

Greece moves more migrants to mainland as arrivals increase

  • Some 697 migrants and refugees arrived in the port of Elefsina near Athens from the island of Samos
  • Greece is struggling with the biggest resurgence in refugee and migrant flows across the Aegean Sea from Turkey since 2015
ATHENS: Authorities in Greece moved more asylum-seekers to the mainland on Tuesday as part of a strategy to reduce the refugee population on outlying islands after an increase in arrivals in recent months.

Some 697 migrants and refugees arrived in the port of Elefsina near Athens from the island of Samos, officials said. Earlier, 120 people arrived from Lesbos.

Greece is struggling with the biggest resurgence in refugee and migrant flows across the Aegean Sea from Turkey since 2015, when more than a million crossed into Europe, many of them via Greece.

The islands, which are closest to Turkey, have been struggling under the influx, with some 33,700 refugees and migrants in overcrowded camps, according to the UN refugee agency UNHCR.

In late September, a woman died in a fire in a tent in a camp on Lesbos, while another fire in a severely overcrowded camp in Samos forced hundreds of people into the streets this month.

“Our focus was mainly on Samos because we want things there to calm down,” migration ministry secretary Manos Logothetis told Reuters.

More than 12,000 people arrived in Greece in September, the highest level in the three-and-a-half years since the EU agreed a deal with Turkey to seal the Aegean corridor to Europe.

Logothetis said up to 300 more people would be leaving Samos this week, and up to 2,000 from all outlying islands next week. Greece aims to move up to 20,000 off the islands by the end of the year, he said.

Athens has announced a stricter migration policy to deal with the crisis, including plans to deport 10,000 people who do not qualify for asylum by the end of next year.