SAN DIEGO (Border Report) — Baja California Gov. Marina del Pilar Ávila is appointing a special prosecutor to look into the murders of Tijuana journalists Lourdes Maldonado and Margarito Martinez, who were both shot and killed within the last week.
“We are going to use the full force of the state to ensure that justice prevails,” Ávila said.
On Sunday night, when Maldonado was killed outside her house, prosecutors were asked if former Baja Gov. Jaime Bonilla was a suspect, investigators said they weren’t ruling anything out and were looking a several scenarios.
Four days before she was killed, a ruling came down ordering Bonilla and his media company to pay Maldonado about $20,000 owed in back wages.
She had worked for a media company owned by Bonilla nine years ago before he became governor.
Bonilla went on a radio talk show Monday afternoon on Tijuana’s Radio Formula and denied any connection to Maldonado’s murder and went on to say he felt bad about it.
He also stated barely knowing her and that he had nothing against her.
During a 2019 news conference, Maldonado told Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador that she feared for her life after getting threats.
At the time of her death, she was under police protection, part of a federal program that provides safety to journalists who have been threatened.
“I am sure that the Baja California’s Attorney General Office will quickly find those who are responsible,” Bonilla told Mexican journalist Joaquín López Dóriga during his radio interview.
Bonilla owns a five bedroom, six bathroom, 5,830 square foot house in Rancho del Rey, an upscale community in Chula Vista, California, located about 10 miles north of the border.
Border Report sought an interview with Bonilla at this property to discuss Maldonado’s murder. But attempts to call his house from an intercom at the gate and from outside his home were unsuccessful.