Blog dedicated to reporting on Mexican drug cartels
on the border line between the US and Mexico

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Sonora/San Luis Río Colorado: Another Journalist Shot Dead

Oaxaqueño for Borderland Beat

On Friday evening at around 21:10 hrs, journalist and radio host Santiago Barroso was shot at the entrance of his home in the border city of San Luis Río Colorado. Reportedly, an assailant rang the bell at Barroso’s home at callejón Sinaloa between calle 7 and 8, located in colonia Sonora. After having opened the door, the perpetrator opened fire on him and fled the scene unidentified. According to neighbors, up to ten shots were heard. Badly wounded with one bullet in the clavicle and two bullets in the abdomen, Santiago Barroso was still able to call the emergency service which transferred him to the hospital. However, at around 23:00 hrs he succumbed to his wounds.
Oaxaqueño Analysis:

Barroso’s assassination marks already the fourth killing of a journalist in Mexico in 2019. Authorities on both state and federal level, expressed their usual condolence and repeated their usual promise of thoroughly investigating the case and bringing the culprits to justice. Nevertheless, no arrests have been made so far. Reportedly, authorities are following several lines of investigation. Considering both past experience and the modus operandi, however, it can be assumed that Barroso’s killing is related to his journalistic work and therefore organized crime is highly likely to be behind the murder.

This assumption is fortified by the fact that Santiago Barroso was a vocal critic of organized crime. In his last articles, he focused on Joaquín Guzmán Loera “El Chapo”, as well as on many of his notorious Sinaloa Cartel companions, and how “El Chapo” way back many years ago had taken over the plaza of San Luis Río Colorado. Barroso also pointed out, among others, that “El Chapo” let dug several highly profitable so-called narco tunnels from San Luis Río Colorado into Arizona, of which some still have not been found by US authorities. Barroso went on, highlighting nowadays influence by organized crime on local institution. Consequently, he also addressed the implications of such influence, such as local police corruption and impunity.

Obviously, such statements made him a target to both organized crime and corrupt authorities. Taking the content of his last two articles into account, it seems plausible that the Sinaloa Cartel is behind Barroso’s killing. If that would be the case, it is likely that the main operator and the most powerful cell of the Sinaloa Cartel in Sonora, namely Los Salazar, has orchestrated the attack. Given that Los Salazar has already been responsible for the killing of investigative journalists in the past (with Miroslava Breach killed in March 2017 being the most infamously), this conjecture seems even more reasonable.

Letting aside speculations regarding the criminal group responsible for the homicide, the murder of journalists all across Mexico seems to continue unabated under the presidency of AMLO. Given that the tremendously high rate of impunity is admittedly hard tackle in the short-run, at least material actions protecting the physical integrity of journalists should be put in place. If this continues not to be done, Mexico will remain the deadliest country for journalists in the western hemisphere.


  1. Journalists are their own best line of defense, why have your mug out there when you are taking on crime and criminals and when you know perfectly nobody else will/ can help?
    --Even if the police could help,
    after taking flak, would they?
    This is not about AMLO, he or anybody else would be unable to help except send somebody and arrest all the Salazares and everybody connected with the police.

  2. Welcome to Mexico.

  3. San Luis has been getting pretty violent these last few years and it only seems to be getting worse.

    1. has anyone heard of a murder of a men that happen on april 5th 2019? I believe in san luis as well??

  4. These atrocities will continue to adhere to journalists in Mexico. Criminal elements of their activities will defy freedoms of expression where vested interests are involved.
    AMLO like his predecessors are in no hurry to investigate their own inner workings of criminal activities with criminal organizations. Much less to apprehend those responsible. Where conviction rates against journalists are around 1%.
    Mexico will always be a dangerous place for journalists.

    Despite international efforts to protect journalists; Mexican government officials will not be undermined by the pouring of outrage of world leaders.

    What a shame that journalism is not a recommendation for those aspiring writers. Rather those Non-Fiction writers.

    1. 8:54 you would be better off blaming the greater powers instead of AMLO! AMLO! AMLO!
      How about blaming the Santo Nino?

  5. Ever notice when someone talks about how good CDS or even Chapo are it is usually through word of mouth only? Why is it that mostly in CDS territory journalists get killed also?
    This is how they silence the press and feed propaganda to their imbecil legions of followers.

    1. Dumb people but mostly kids believe in wha those fake Corridos say

  6. Salazar are not in San Luis rio Colorado.

  7. That area is controlled by Los memos. Gente del G3


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