A crime reporter was shot dead in Mexico on Friday, becoming the fourth journalist to be killed in the country in a six-week period.
Maximino Rodriguez Palacios “was shot and killed” as he arrived at a shop at around midday, according to the Colectivo Pericu news website.
Palacios was with his wheelchair-bound wife, who was unharmed in the attack.
The state prosecutor’s office confirmed that the 71-year-old journalist died “from gunshot wounds,” noting that gun casings were taken from the crime scene to be analysed as part of their investigation into the attack.
Colectivo Pericu said that unknown assailants appeared to have used high-powered rifles in the attack.
Reports suggested that Palacios was parking in a disabled parking space and requesting a wheelchair for his wife when his killers attacked.
“Colectivo Pericu rejects this attack against a comrade,” said a statement on the website.
“We demand that the authorities clarify this and many other crimes that continue to go unpunished and have left families shattered by pain.”
Facing the threat of drug cartels and other factions involved with corruption, journalists face serious danger in Mexico which is currently the third most dangerous country in the world for members of the media according to Reporters Without Borders (RSF).
During his long career as a reporter and columnist, Rodriguez made “very strong, very critical” statements, RSF's Mexico representative Balbina Flores said.
Three other journalists covering organised crime in Mexico have been killed since March 3 - in Chihuahua, Guerrero and Veracruz states, according to officials and media groups.