Marco Aurelio Ramírez Hernández
1954 - 2023
Marco Aurelio Ramírez Hernández, a celebrated reporter who covered crime for decades was killed in broad daylight in a hail of bullets fired by men on a motorcycle as he was leaving his home in his car on 23 May in Tehuacán, Puebla’s second largest city, located 200 km southeast of Mexico City.
Marco Aurelio Ramírez Hernández, who also worked as a lawyer and served for a brief period as an official in the Tehuacán municipal government, was gunned down while driving, shortly after leaving his home.
The 69-year-old, who worked for various media outlets during a 50-year career in journalism, primarily as a crime reporter for "Cuarto Poder" was reportedly shot multiple times; his car came to a halt when it veered off the road and crashed into a tree.
The veteran journalist, who sustained a gunshot wound to his chest, was dead when police and paramedics arrived on the scene.
According to fellow Tehuacán journalist Juan Gámez, Ramírez received threats while working as the general director of the municipal government.
“He knew perfectly well where the crime hotspots in Tehuacán were. He wanted to contribute to improve security, but he ran into reality, threats started and he quit in 2019,” Gámez said.
Patricia Flores, another journalist, noted that several high-ranking members of the Bigotonas crime gang were arrested in Tehuacán while Ramírez was working in the municipal government.
Gámez noted that Ramírez had a talent for crime writing from the beginning of his career in journalism, an industry he was born into because his father founded the Tehuacán newspaper “El Cuarto Poder.”
“We learnt the trade from our respective fathers,” said Gámez, whose father founded a rival local newspaper called “La Escoba.” “… We grew up amid the smell of ink and paper. The instruction we both received was ‘the truth above all else.'”
Although he also worked as a lawyer and in local government, journalism was Ramírez’s greatest passion, Flores said. He wrote for newspapers such as “El Heraldo de México” and “Periódico Central” and more recently collaborated on a radio program, Estéreo Luz FM, in which he analyzed different aspects of public life in the state of Puebla, including human rights violations and alleged irregularities in the exercise of public office.
His slaying was the first murder of a journalist in Tehuacán since Adrián Silva was killed in 2012, the newspaper El País reported. No one has been arrested in connection with that crime.