The United Nations human rights agency called on the Mexican authorities to thoroughly investigate the death of an independent journalist who died in police custody in a city located in the north of the country.
Juan Nelcio Espinoza was arrested on Sunday while covering a confrontation in the city of Piedras Negras, in the state of Coahuila, bordering Eagle Pass, Texas, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights detailed Sunday.
Espinoza, who reported for his website “El Valedor TV,” was later transferred by the police to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead. One of the latest posts on his website showed him painting the word “press” on his vehicle.
Coahuila state authorities told local media that Espinoza and another man were arrested after engaging in a confrontation with police and that Espinoza suffocated to death.
The UN agency wrote that “among the circumstances that must be taken into account are the allegations of possible previous attacks or threats by police officers that the journalist’s family has pointed out, as well as the possible link between these and his journalistic activity ”.
At least five journalists, not counting Espinoza, have been murdered in Mexico so far this year, and more than 140 in the last 20 years.