MEXICO CITY (AP) — Six suspects have been arrested in the January killing of a journalist in the border city of Nuevo Laredo, Mexican prosecutors said Wednesday.
Meanwhile, two former police officers were sentenced in the 2015 killing of another reporter in the Gulf coast state of Veracruz.
The Jan. 13 stabbing of Carlos Dominguez Rodriguez may have been related to his journalistic work but was not related to organized crime, prosecutors in the northern state of Tamaulipas said.
“The results up to this time indicate a probable link between these events and the exercise of freedom of expression,” the federal Attorney General’s Office added in a statement.
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Across from Laredo, Texas, Nuevo Laredo is dominated by the Northeast cartel and has been the scene of recent shootouts.
State prosecutor Irving Barrios said that the motive for Dominguez Rodriguez’s killing was still under investigation, but that the journalist didn’t write about organized crime topics.
Barrios said three of the six suspects “worked in the information industry, but we are still checking whether they were working journalists.”
Officials refused to release the names of the suspects, citing Mexican law that prohibits publicly incriminating people until they are found guilty.
Prosecutors did not explain why the suspects, who local media reported worked as independent journalists, would have wanted to kill Dominguez Rodriguez, or why the killing was so brutal. The victim was stabbed two dozen times in front of relatives.
Prosecutors in Veracruz announced later in the day that two former police officers were sentenced to 25 years in prison for the 2015 murder of another journalist.
The state prosecutor’s office said the officers were members of the Medellin police force when they participated in killing Moises Sanchez Cerezo.
The Committee to Protect Journalists applauded the sentences, but called for authorities to identify others involved. The men were sentenced March 23.
Sanchez was abducted from his home Jan. 2, 2015. His body was found three weeks later. Initially, the town’s entire police force was detained.
Sanchez published the local weekly, La Union, which covered local government corruption and violent deaths. His son, Jorge Sanchez, told CPJ that there many more arrests needed to be made.