AP

Killing of Mexican reporter may be linked to local politics

Jun 30, 2022, 12:39 AM | Updated: 3:36 pm

CIUDAD VICTORIA, Mexico (AP) — Mexico’s president said Thursday that the killing of a reporter in the northern border state of Tamaulipas — the 12th so far this year in Mexico — may be linked to local politics.

President Andrés Manuel López Obrador said federal prosecutors have taken over the investigation of the killing of reporter Antonio de la Cruz as a crime against freedom of expression.

De la Cruz’s daughter was critically wounded in the attack Wednesday in the Tamaulipas state capital and was fighting for her life at a local hospital.

On Thursday, one of the reporter’s colleagues said De la Cruz had been asked, apparently by state authorities, to remove some of his tweets.

“On Twitter, Antonio criticized the state government a lot and criticized the government,” said fellow reporter Carlos Manuel Juárez. “He even told me at one point that they had asked him to take down some critical tweets that he put up.”

Juárez described the fear that reporters in Tamaulipas feel after the killing. The state has long been dominated by drug cartels.

“It is very dangerous not to know where the attack came from, and our colleagues feel very exposed. We don’t know if it is simply a political matter,” Juárez said at the president’s morning press briefing.

López Obrador said “the decision to take over the case (by federal prosecutors) was made because it became known that there had been criticism of local authorities.”

De la Cruz, 47, was a reporter for the local newspaper Expreso for almost three decades.

The newspaper issued a print edition Thursday in black, with De la Cruz’s photo and the word “Justice!” on the front page.

“This is clearly an attack on freedom of expression,” said Expreso’s director, Miguel Domínguez.

“We live in a state where there has been a wave of violence for more than a decade, and that has also affected the press,” Domínguez said. “Unfortunately, we have had to become used to working in these conditions and take extra precuations, and consider carefully whether we are going to publish something or not.”

Almost all of Tamaulipas’ recent governors have faced accusations of corruption, ranging from money laundering to aiding drug cartels.

De la Cruz’s death brought to 12 the number of journalists killed this year in the country, the deadliest for the Mexican press and the deadliest for any country outside a war zone.

De la Cruz was shot in a car in front of his house in Ciudad Victoria, the state capital, by a man on a motorcycle. His daughter was in the vehicle with him and was wounded.

Expreso covers all kinds of news in the city, including security issues. De la Cruz reported on rural and social topics such as water shortages.

He also covered the Citizens Movement political party and its local deputy, Gustavo Cardenas Gutiérrez, who condemned the killing.

Expreso has been targeted over the years. In 2012, one of the worst years of drug cartel violence, a car bomb exploded in front of the newspaper’s building. In 2018, a cooler with a human head inside was left at the newspaper, with a warning not to report on violence in the city.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

Image: This photo provided by the Washington Department of Ecology shows a derailed BNSF train on t...

Associated Press

Judge orders BNSF to pay Washington tribe nearly $400M for trespassing with oil trains

BNSF Railway must pay the sum to a Native American tribe in Washington after it ran 100-car trains with crude oil on the tribe's reservation.

14 hours ago

Photo: In this photo provided by Tieanna Joseph Cade, an amusement park ride is shown stuck with 30...

Associated Press

Crews rescue 28 people trapped upside down high on Oregon amusement park ride

Emergency crews in Oregon rescued 28 people after they were stuck dangling upside down high on a ride at a century-old amusement park.

15 hours ago

juneteenth shooting texas...

Associated Press

2 killed and 6 wounded in shooting during a Juneteenth celebration in a Texas park

A shooting in a Texas park left two people dead and six wounded, including two children, on Saturday, authorities said.

2 days ago

Photo: Israeli soldiers drive a tank near the Israeli-Gaza border, in southern Israel, Wednesday, J...

Jack Jeffery, The Associated Press

8 Israeli soldiers killed in southern Gaza in deadliest attack on Israeli forces in months

An explosion in Gaza killed eight Israeli soldiers, the military said Saturday, making it the deadliest attack on Israeli forces in months.

2 days ago

Juanita Beach Kirkland...

Kathy McCormack and Nick Perry, The Associated Press

‘Tis the season for swimming and bacteria alerts in lakes, rivers

With summer about to start, many people flocking to their favorite swimming holes may also want to read up on bacteria warnings.

3 days ago

Image: Members of the Makah Indian tribe paddle away from the rising sun as they head from Neah Bay...

Associated Press

Washington’s Makah Tribe clears major hurdle toward resuming traditional whale hunts

The U.S. granted the Makah Indian Tribe a long-sought waiver that helps clear the way for its first sanctioned whale hunts since 1999.

5 days ago

Killing of Mexican reporter may be linked to local politics