Knight Center
Knight Center

JOURNALISM IN THE AMERICAS Blog

Mexican authorities investigating criminal group and municipal official in murder of threatened YouTuber



Mexican blogger Pamela Montenegro was shot to death on Feb. 5 in a restaurant in Acapulco.

Pamela Montenegro (Screenshot)

According to official reports, a group of armed men approached Montenegro directly at the restaurant she owns and shot her in the head, Proceso reported.

Montenegro portrayed a character called La Nana Pelucas on YouTube station El Sillón TV. Wearing a mumu and using humor and satire, La Nana Pelucas discussed politics and interviewed local figures like congressmen or candidates during her program. She also criticized local officials. Montenegro sometimes appeared as herself on the channel in more light-hearted programs about makeup or gossip.

Preliminary investigations into the case show that a criminal group ordered the murder, according to the General Prosecutor’s Office of Guerrero. They also linked the murder to her publications and said “she managed in her portal, allegedly, privileged information about criminal groups.”

However, the office said it would not leave a stone unturned and that Montenegro was threatened by a municipal servant “who presumably had a relationship with the group that took the journalist’s life.” They added that the weapon used in the crime was used to kill an employee of a crane company two hours later, which further indicates a criminal group.

Proceso reported that since 2016, banners hung around Acapulco indicated Montenegro and her husband Samuel Muñuzuri allegedly had ties to crime. She was accused of being a government informant and of being the Facebook administrator of a page that posted anonymous accusations against gang members, Acapulco sin censura (Acapulco uncensored), the news site added. Montenegro denied the accusations.

Pamela Montenegro, as La Nana Pelucas, interviewing Memo Deloya Cobian, coordinator of the National Institute for Federalism and Municipal Development and candidate for municipal presidency of Puebla for the PRI. (Screenshot)

The Inter American Press Association (IAPA) condemned Montenegro’s murder and called for authorities to investigate whether it was related to her criticism.

“We vehemently condemn the crime and we urge the authorities not to discard any theory in order to clarify if it was connected to her work as a journalist,” said IAPA President Gustavo Mohme.

Acapulco is the second most violent city in the world, according to the Mexican organization Citizen Council for Public Safety and Criminal Justice.

In 2011, at least four people were killed in Nuevo Laredo in the state of Tamaulipas and their bodies were displayed publicly with threatening messages about denouncing crime on social media. One was María Elizabeth Macías Castro, editor-in-chief of newspaper Primera Hora who denounced drug crime on the site Nuevo Laredo En Vivo. A sign next to Macías Castro’s decapitated body read: “I’m the girl of Laredo and I’m here for my reports and theirs.”



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