Testimonio and Alarma
November 21, 2006, in Mandinga y Matoza, Mexico

García, a reporter for the Veracruz-based publication Testimonio and local correspondent for the Mexico City weekly Alarma, was found murdered near the town of Mandinga y Matoza.

Traveling by motorcycle from Veracruz to the nearby city of Alvarado, García was run down by a stolen car with Mexico City plates at 1 p.m., the Mexican press reported. Unidentified assailants shot García while he was on the ground, twice in the head and at least four times in the chest, according to press reports and a CPJ source.

Marco Antonio Aguilar Yunes, a regional deputy prosecutor, told the U.S.-based Univisión that authorities found bullet casings from at least two guns at the scene and recovered the attackers' car.

García had reported for 13 years on violent crime and drug trafficking in Veracruz, a colleague told CPJ. García's last report, published a week before his death in the bimonthly Testimonio, detailed the activities of a gang of thieves who stole containers coming into the port of Veracruz, the colleague said. Other reporters in Veracruz said that García had previously received death threats on his cell phone. State police arrested José Cortés Terrones, known as "El Loro," on December 1. Two weeks before the killing, Cortés allegedly warned García that two men angry with his crime reporting were going to kidnap him, the Veracruz daily El Dictamen reported. Cortés acknowledged he knew García but denied any involvement in the murder, local press reports said.

Cortés' arrest led to the detention of another suspect, Sergio Muñoz López, known as "El Drácula." Local press reports alleged that Muñoz was among a group of people who severely beat García three years ago in a work-related attack.

Colleagues told CPJ that they believe the killing was connected to García's crime reporting. Veracruz's top state prosecutor, Emeterio López Márquez, told CPJ in December that journalism and other motives were being considered.

Job:Print Reporter
Beats Covered:Crime
Local or Foreign:Local
Type of Death:Murder
Suspected Source of Fire:Criminal Group
Taken Captive:No


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