Arrest in Mexico journalist killing

2012-08-14 12:10
Mexican policemen check the car where a body was found in Hornos Insurgentes neighbourhood, in Acapulco, Guerrero state. (AFP)

Mexican policemen check the car where a body was found in Hornos Insurgentes neighbourhood, in Acapulco, Guerrero state. (AFP)

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Mexico City — Mexico's navy said on Monday that the country's marines captured a drug cartel suspect carrying the ID cards of a newspaper employee who was killed in May along with three photographers.

Suspect Juan Carlos Hernandez Pulido is allegedly a local chief of informers for the Jalisco Nueva Generacion drug gang, the navy said. The navy said Hernandez Pulido was detained on Friday in the Gulf Coast port city of Veracruz as he handed out packets of drugs to a group of men.

The navy said Hernandez Pulido was carrying the ID cards of Irasema Becerra, who had been an administrative worker at a local newspaper and was the girlfriend of one of the dead photographers. Five other journalists have been killed in Veracruz state so far this year.

At the time, the May killings had been thought to bear the hallmarks of the hyper-violent Zetas cartel; the victims were slain, dismembered and their bodies stuffed into black plastic bags dumped into a waste canal.

However, Hernandez Pulido is allegedly linked to a gang allied with the Sinaloa cartel, which is fighting the Zetas for control of Veracruz and other states.

Elsewhere in Veracruz, the state prosecutors' office said seven members of a family, three adults and four children, were found dead at their home, with their throats slit. The children were reportedly aged between 3 and 12.

Dead for three days

The bodies were found on Friday in the rural hamlet of Manlio Fabio Altamirano, on the Gulf Coast, by neighbours who smelled strange odours coming from the house.

The family had been dead for about three days, prosecutors said.

Also on Monday, federal police announced they have sent 600 additional officers and 20 bulletproof patrol vehicles to the western state of Michoacan, where suspected drug cartel gunmen have attacked police and hijacked and burned trucks to block highways in recent days.

Police said the units would be used in anti-drug operations, to set up checkpoints and prevent road blockades.

On Friday, five gunmen were killed when they opened fire on federal police from the hills around the city of Apatzingan.

The assailants opened fired and threw grenades at federal agents who arrived in the area by land and air to help their colleagues. They also blocked highways and streets with vehicles set on fire to hinder the deployment of federal police, it said.

And in the northern Mexico state of San Luis Potosi, state police said the gunmen who killed the mayor-elect of the city of Matehuala on Sunday used assault rifles of the kind frequently wielded by drug gangs.

Edgar Morales Perez, of the Institutional Revolutionary Party, and an adviser who was travelling with him also died in the attack, but the adviser's wife survived. His party, known as the PRI, issued a statement on Sunday calling on authorities to investigate the killings and punish those responsible.

- AP
Read more on:    mexico  |  mexico drug war
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