The death of Mexican crime reporter Margarito Martinez shocked his friends and colleagues in Tijuana. Tom Phillips reports on how the Mexican president’s verbal attacks on the press are putting its country’s journalists at risk
The Guardian’s Latin America correspondent, Tom Phillips, tells Michael Safi that he can clearly remember the night he met Margarito Martinez. Tom had travelled to Tijuana, Mexico, to cover an epidemic of violence there, and was following an ambulance crew to the scene of a crime. After a frantic drive through darkened streets, he was sure they would be the first to arrive – but they were not. Margarito was already there.
Margarito was not just good at his job, he was also universally beloved by his fellow reporters. He was a “sweetie”, as one colleague put it, and had a disarming smile. He was a family man, too, a devoted father and husband. It came as a shock to his friends and colleagues when, earlier this year, he was gunned down right in front of his own home.