A Mexican journalist was shot dead on Sunday, in the northern border city of Tijuana. Lourdes Maldonado López became the third journalist to be killed in the country this year.

Maldonado was attacked in her car after arriving home in the Santa Fe neighborhood of the border city of Tijuana on Sunday. The Mexican reporter's killing was unclear. According to activists, she had previously opened up about fear for her life and was enrolled in a scheme to protect journalists.

Mexico is considered one of the world's most dangerous places for news reporters and journalists as many have been reportedly killed in recent years. Maldonado is the second journalist killed within the same area in just a week. Among the most targeted are news correspondents covering corruption and powerful drug cartels. According to campaigners, the killings are rarely investigated.

The killing of Maldonado happened six days following the death of Mexican photojournalist Margarito Martinez, 49, who died after being shot in the head outside his home in Tijuana on Jan.17. José Luis Gamboa Arenas, an editor at the Inforegio and La Notícia, was the first one found dead with stab wounds on Jan. 10 in the eastern city of Veracruz. Maldonado was the third journalist to be killed this year in Mexico. 

Meanwhile, President Andres Manuel López Obrador promised a full investigation into the incidents. "What happened is very regrettable," he said. Maldonado had a guest appearance at López Obrador's morning news conference in 2019, asking for help because she feared for her life. During that time, she was referring to a labor dispute with Jaime Bonilla, the elected governor of Baja California state that year. Maldonado had sued the company for unfair dismissal, where she had won the lawsuit after a nine-year legal battle. 

The media rights group Article 19 said that Maldonado had been included in a protection scheme for journalists due to threats she had received. There were 24 journalists killed between December 2018 and the end of 2021 in the list. Meanwhile, from the year 2000 to 2021, Article 19 has registered 145 killings of journalists in Mexico.

"We are coming out of this period of decay and violence," said López Obrador, who is best known as Amlo.

A group of journalists and people of the civil society take part in a demonstration against violence against journalists A group of journalists and people of the civil society take part in a demonstration against violence against journalists, especially for the murders of journalists Margarito Martinez and Lourdes Maldonado in Tijuana last week, in Guadalajara, Mexico, on January 25, 2022. - The murders of two journalists in the Mexican border city of Tijuana in less than a week have triggered calls for the government to step up protection of media workers. Photo by Ulises Ruiz/AFP via Getty Images