Journalist Lourdes Maldonado López was killed on Sunday in Tijuana, Mexico, according to a Sunday statement from the Baja California Attorney General Office.
López was a reporter who had been previously threatened for her work on corruption and politics, according to the human rights organization Article 19, of which López was a member.
In March 2019, López told Mexico’s President Andrés Manuel López Obrador in his daily press briefing that she feared for her life and asked for his “support, help and labor justice.”
López was discussing an employment dispute she had with Jaime Bonilla, who owns the PSN media outlet where López previously worked. López had sued the company for unfair dismissal. Bonilla was sworn in as governor of Baja California after running a successful campaign as a candidate of López Obrador’s ruling Morena party.
Just days before she was killed, she won the lawsuit.
CNN has reached out to Bonilla and PSN for comment.
In an interview with the radio station Radio Formula that Bonilla posted to his Twitter account on Monday, he said that while he hadn’t seen Lopez for many years, he had “always” had a “good relationship” with her.
Bonilla said that he didn’t know why Lopez had asked the president for protection, saying “there was never a threat, not even an argument with her.”
“Every time something happens to journalists, it hurts,” Bonilla said, also offering his condolences to Lopez’s family.
The Committee to Protect Journalists said in a tweet it is “shocked” by López’s killing and called on authorities to “thoroughly and transparently investigate the attack.”
Maldonado’s killing follows that of freelance photojournalist Alfonso Margarito Martínez Esquivel on January 17 in Tijuana, and that of Jose Luis Gamboa — a journalist who founded and edited the Inforegio news website and co-founded and edited the news website La Noticia — on January 10 in Veracruz state.