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Three suspects arrested in Tijuana journalist's murder

Investigators are still looking for who is responsible in Esquivel's murder.

TIJUANA, Baja California — Three suspects have been arrested for shooting and killing Tijuana journalist Lourdes Maldonado Lopez. 

Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador confirmed the arrests Wednesday morning in his daily briefing. Other journalists in Tijuana say neither they or anyone in the border city can feel safe.

Lourdes Maldonado Lopez was shot to death in her car in Tijuana on January 23, 2022. Just days before that on January 17, another journalist Margarito Martinez Esquivel was also shot outside his Tijuana home, sending shockwaves throughout the city and across the border here in San Diego.

"This is a terrible tragedy, and there is no way to bring them back. We are obligated to bring them justice," said President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, on Wednesday morning during his briefing.   

President Obrador, Mexican governors, and officials called out the violence against journalists but also said Maldonado’s murder may not be linked to her profession as a journalist.

"I don't feel safe. I don't think anyone can feel safe in a city with so much violence and homicides," said Vicente Calderon, the editor for TijuanaPress.com. "Unfortunately, the number of killings is very high in Tijuana. It's called the murder capital of Mexico for the last years so everyone is at risk. We know in the past we have seen cases of journalists targeted by either drug cartels, corrupt politicians or businessmen who are not happy with their publications."

The three suspects were arrested Tuesday in Baja California. 

Mexican authorities say there may be others involved in the murder. However, no other arrests have been made in Esquivel’s murder but investigators say they’re making progress in the case. 

"We don't have much detail because they're being very careful not to affect the due process that will be used by the defense of these three gentlemen," said Calderon. 

Maldonado’s arrest suspects were identified by surveillance cameras according to Mexican officials. 

“Surveillance cameras of the houses and businesses around the crime scene were very important in gathering information regarding the killing of Lourdes Maldonado," said Calderon. "These fellows were arrested not as a part of this investigation into this crime, but for other crimes. And that tells you about the dangers of life in Mexico right now because we don't know yet what is the motive."

Calderon says it’s a deadly problem decades in the making and he calls on both sides of the border to do more to keep people safe, but for Mexico specifically.

“The level of impunity is the most worrisome problem in Mexico right now," said Calderon. "For being a border point with the biggest consumer of drugs in the world. That's the other big problem.

WATCH RELATED: Candlelight vigil held Friday night honoring Tijuana journalist killed in January (January 2022)

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