Journalist is gunned down in Mexican region plagued by drug violence


A member of the Mexican Navy stands next to guns seized in the arrest of Raul Hernandez Lechuga (not in frame) -- an alleged member of the drugs cartel 'Los Zetas' -- displayed during a presentation to the news media in Mexico City on Dec 13.



Mexican authorities said today that a journalist in an area plagued by drug violence had been shot dead in what appeared either to be a robbery or a case of mistaken identity, according to the Associated Press.

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Raul Garza Quirino, worked as a municipal social development worker in the city of Cadereyta, near Monterrey. But he also wrote for the weekly La Ultima Palabra. The area in Nuevo León state has been plagued by drug-cartel-related violence, according to the AP.

Less than a year ago, also in Nuevo León, Lius Emanuel Ruiz Carrillo, 21, of La Prensa, was kidnapped and shot dead in March along with two others, one of whom was the subject of a planned report by Carrillo, according to the New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists. Graffiti found near the bodies accused one of the dead of collaborating with the Zetas drug cartel.

The AP quoted a spokesman for the state detectives agency who said Garza Quirino had been gunned down has he drove his new car near a mechanic's shop owned by family members into which he crashed, perhaps wounded or killed as he drove.

The National Human Rights Commission says nine Mexican journalists were killed in 2011 although press freedom activists dispute the definition of journalist used in Mexico's homicide statistics, according to the AP.

According to the CPJ, 27 journalists have been killed in Mexico in the last 20 years, 22 of whom were "murdered with impunity."