Journalist shot dead in central Mexico: media watchdogs

Celaya (Mexico) (AFP) –

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A journalist was shot and killed on Monday in central Mexico, media rights groups said -- the seventh such murder this year in one of the world's most dangerous countries for reporters.

Israel Vazquez Rangel, who worked for the online newspaper El Salmantino, was shot in Salamanca in Guanajuato state while on assignment, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists.

His newspaper said he was covering the discovery of human remains in the violence-plagued region when he was attacked by two men.

Reporters Without Borders (RSF) also condemned the murder, which was not immediately confirmed by state authorities.

"It's a deplorable situation because violence continues in Mexico, especially against journalists," RSF's Mexico representative Balbina Flores told AFP.

The group regularly ranks Mexico alongside war-torn Syria and Afghanistan as the world's most dangerous countries for news media.

More than 100 reporters have been murdered since 2000 in Mexico, where investigating political corruption or powerful drug cartels can have deadly repercussions.

Only a fraction of those crimes have resulted in convictions.

In September, journalist Julio Valdivia was found decapitated in the eastern state of Veracruz, a flashpoint in turf wars between rival drug cartels.

The following month, journalist and television news show host Arturo Alba Medina was shot dead in Ciudad Juarez near the US border.