PEN America condemns the killing of Mexican journalist Pedro Tamayo Rosas. Tamayo, a reporter and editor in the eastern state of Veracruz, was shot and killed on July 20th after two gunmen opened fire on his home, despite being under police protection at the time.

Tamayo reported on violence in the region, including for local news outlets El Piñero de la Cuenca and Al Calor Político, as well as serving as editor for La Voz de Tierra Blanca. For El Piñero de la Cuenca, Tamayo wrote under the pseudonym “En la línea de Fuego” (“In the line of fire”). His stories included covering the June 2014 discovery of hidden mass graves in the town of Tres Valles, where alleged victims of the Zetas drug cartel were buried.

“We call on the Mexican authorities, especially officials in the state of Veracruz, to conduct a thorough and impartial investigation into Tamayo’s killing, taking into account his work as a journalist, in order to break this appalling record of impunity,” said Karin Karlekar, PEN’s Director of Free Expression at Risk Programs. “We also renew our call—made almost a year ago, after the brutal murder of photojournalist Rubén Espinosa—for effective protections for Mexican journalists and their families, many of whom face serious ongoing threats due to their work.”

At least 17 journalists have been killed during the tenure of Veracruz governor Javiér Duarte de Ochoa, who took office in 2010. Tamayo, who had expressed fear for his life, had been assigned “precautionary measures” by the State Commission for the Care and Protection of Journalists, a state-level body created under Governor Duarte in 2012, earlier this year.

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PEN America stands at the intersection of literature and human rights to protect open expression at home and abroad. We champion the freedom to write, recognizing the power of the word to transform the world. Our mission is to unite writers and their allies to celebrate creative expression and defend the liberties that make it possible. Learn more at www.PEN.org

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Sarah Edkins, Deputy Director for Communications: +1 646-779-4830, sedkins@pen.org