A Mexican reporter was shot dead Tuesday at his son’s school Christmas party, authorities confirmed, bringing the total number of journalists killed in the country in 2017 to 12.
Unknown assailants burst into the school in the state of Veracruz and shot Gumaro Aguilando in front of children and parents.
The state is known as one of the most dangerous for journalists, with several killed.
Veracruz governor Miguel Yunes said he was saddened by the “devious and cowardly attack” and had ordered extra protection for the journalist’s family.
The 35-year-old had apparently been threatened before and requested protection from the government’s protection programme, according to Alicia Bremont, the head of the Association of Independent Journalists in Acayucan.
The killing makes Mexico the most deadly country in the world for journalists, alongside Syria, according to figures published by media organisation Reporters Without Borders on Monday.
In its annual report on violence against journalists it said 12 had been killed in Syria this year.
Home to several powerful drug cartels, journalists in Mexico who cover topics linked to organised crime or political corruption quickly become targets.