BY Newsweek

Playa del Carmen Journalist: Who is Ruben Pat?

The director of a news website that uncovered the actions of drug cartels in Mexico has been shot dead in Playa del Carmen.

Ruben Pat, 41, is the second employee of the Semanario Playa News to be killed in less than a month, after he was shot six times outside a bar in the city around 40 miles from Cancun.

José Guadalupe Chan Dzib, a reporter for Playa News, was killed in the municipality of Felipe Carrillo Puerto in late June.

Last year, Pat said he feared for his life after a story he published linking local officials with drug cartels.

He told the Committee To Protect Journalists: “They pulled a T-shirt over my head and started kicking me while driving around. At least one of them repeatedly punched me in the face."

"They told me to stop publishing articles about a local police chief, and that I knew what would be coming to me if I didn't," he said.

His death comes soon after the murder of reporter José Guadalupe Chan Dzib in the municipality of Felipe Carrillo Puerto.

Playa News has appealed to the authorities to solve the killings. In a post on Facebook headlined “The Mexican authorities are not doing enough to protect journalists”, it said that Pat has asked for protection after receiving threats through Whatsapp. He was given a 'panic button' and a GPS.

But it said that these protective measures ”were not enough, as threats against him persisted."

“These new murders show even more how urgent it is to increase the protection of Mexican journalists,” the post read.

The death toll of journalists in Mexico has now hit eight so far this year. The country has a reputation as being one of the most dangerous for those working in the fourth estate.

It is ranked 147 out of 180 countries in the World Press Freedom Index.

Mexico’s Caribbean tourist hub includes Playa del Carmen as well as Cancún and Tulum. However, tussles among drug cartels has seen the state's murder rate increase by 132 percent.

The U.S. Department of State has not advised against travel to Cancun, host to around 4.8 million visitors per year, because “homicides appeared to be targeted, criminal organization assassinations”.

During Mexico's election campaign which saw Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador win, there were more than 120 murders of candidates running for office, as drug cartels sought to gain influence in local city halls.