Murder of Mexican journalist marks third killing in one week, amid spiraling violence

Family members carry the coffin containing the remains of Mexican journalist Jorge Celestino Ruiz Vazquez, in Actopan, Veracruz, Saturday, Aug. 3, 2019. (AP)
Updated 04 August 2019

Murder of Mexican journalist marks third killing in one week, amid spiraling violence

  • Murders in Mexico jumped in the first half of the year to the highest on record, according to official data

MEXICO CITY: Mexican officials said on Saturday they would investigate the murder of a journalist in the Gulf coast state of Veracruz who was the third reporter to be killed in a week in Mexico as the country grapples with a record murder rate.
Jorge Ruiz Vazquez, a reporter at the Grafico de Xalapa newspaper in Veracruz’s capital, died in spite of procedures in place to protect him, the state prosecutor’s office said.
“The prosecutor will investigate why protection measures granted to the victim and his family, which were active, were not enforced,” the entity said in a statement.
Ruiz’s death brings the murder toll of Mexican journalists this year to at least eight compared with nine last year, according to free-speech advocacy group Article 19.
A reporter in Guerrero state who also served as a municipal official was shot and killed on Friday, while earlier last week, a reporter who covered the police in the same state was found dead in the trunk of a vehicle with signs he had been shot and tortured.
Murders in Mexico jumped in the first half of the year to the highest on record, according to official data. The spiraling violence underscores the challenges President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has faced since taking office in December with a vow to reduce violence in the country ravaged by notorious drug cartels.
Ruiz had reported death threats in October and November of 2018, said Ana Laura Perez, president of Veracruz’s commission to protect journalists (CEAPP), in an interview with Veracruz news outlet XEU Noticias.
She added that Ruiz had been shot and killed at his home in a municipality near Xalapa.
Veracruz’s governor, Cuitlahuac Garcia, said on Friday evening that efforts had already begun to find the people responsible for Ruiz’s death.
“We condemn the cowardly murder of a reporter from a local outlet, Jorge Ruiz,” he said on Twitter. “His killing will not go unpunished.” 


Apple’s Cook meets China regulator after pulling Hong Kong app

Updated 18 October 2019

Apple’s Cook meets China regulator after pulling Hong Kong app

  • Apple last week removed from its app store an app that helped Hong Kong protesters track police movements
  • A Chinese state newspaper has sharply criticized Apple for allowing the software

BEIJING: Apple CEO Tim Cook met the chief of China’s market regulator in Beijing on Thursday, the Chinese agency said, a week after the US firm was thrust into the midst of political tensions between the mainland and protesters in Hong Kong.
Apple last week removed from its app store an app that helped Hong Kong protesters track police movements after a Chinese state newspaper sharply criticized it for allowing the software. The company said the app, HKmap.live, was used to target the police.
Cook had defended the removal in the face of criticism for appeasing mainland China, telling Apple workers that “this decision best protects our users.”
China’s State Administration for Market Regulation said in a statement on its website that its chief, Xiao Yaqing, and Cook discussed topics including Apple expanding investment in China, consumer rights protection and fulfilling corporate social responsibility. It did not give more details.
Apple did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
China is a key market for Apple. Apple’s smartphone market share fell to 5.8 percent in the June quarter from 6.4 percent in the same period a year ago, according to research firm Canalys, as China’s homegrown Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. became the dominant smartphone seller.
The meeting also comes days before China holds the World Internet Conference in Wuzhen in China’s eastern Zhejiang province. The event in the past has attracted overseas company executives, foreign diplomats and Chinese government officials.
It was not immediately clear if Cook will be a participant at the conference this year. He last attended the event in 2017.