A top Mexican TV and radio journalist opened his daily morning show on Friday with a shocker: “Someone tried to kill me last night.”
Ciro Gómez-Leyva, one of Mexicos best known journalists with over 30 years in the news, survived an assassination attempt Thursday night after leaving the TV station in Mexico City where he hosts an evening news show.
“At 11:10 pm only 200 meters from home, two persons riding a bike shot me with the clear intention of killing me. I was only saved by the armored vehicle. I have already contacted the authorities,” Gómez-Leyva tweeted at 11:30 pm, minutes after the alleged attack.
Photos from the scene of the ambush shared on social media by Gómez-Leyva show two bullet holes on the driver’s side of the car at head height, one on the front windshield and another one on the car’s hood.
On his radio show Friday morning, Gómez-Leyva thanked his listeners for their support and messages and said that authorities believe the attack was made by at least two shooters.
“Someone tried to kill me last night very close to this office. I had just left the news show and as I was getting close to my house I got shot at from a motorcycle. Investigators told me that it’s possible someone from a different vehicle shot at me too,” he said.
Gómez-Leyva said the armored SUV that saved his life was provided six years ago by one of the media companies he works for.
Mexico’s President Andrés Manuel López Obrador—who historically has harbored a hostile attitude towards the media—shared his solidarity with Gómez-Leyva during his daily morning conference.
“Fortunately there were no fatal or serious consequences, and we celebrate him because he is a journalist, a human being, but also a leader of public opinion, and to harm a personality like Ciro generates a lot of political instability,” López Obrador said.
Mexico has quickly become the deadliest place for journalists in the world, surpassing even declared war zones like Ukraine, according to international NGOs.
This year alone at least 15 journalists have been killed in the country, according to figures from the nonprofit Committee to Protect Journalists.
One of the murders that shook Mexico this year was that of Tijuana based journalist Lourdes Maldonado who was killed after she appeared at a ‘mañanera’, López Obrador’s daily morning conference, and told him she feared for her life.
During the morning conference, Maldonado specifically called out Jaime Bonilla, a well-known businessman and politician in Baja California and a member of the president’s ruling MORENA party, for threats against her.
Maldonado was gunned down inside her car right outside her house, according to the Baja California state prosecutor’s office.
In March the European Parliament approved a resolution that encouraged López Obrador to improve safety for local media and to stop berating journalists.