February 13, 2009, in Iguala, MexicoIbarra, a photographer for the Iguala newspaper El Correo, and Yenny Yuliana Marchán Arroyo, a contributor to the local daily Diario 21, were riding a motorcycle to an assignment around 10 p.m. A gunman aboard a second motorcycle pulled alongside and fired repeatedly, according to news reports and the special prosecutor for crimes against journalists.
The gunman then shot the photographer a final time in the head, police told CPJ. Ibarra, 33, died at the scene, press reports said. Marchán, 22, was hit three times and suffered leg wounds. Local journalists told CPJ that Ibarra had mentioned receiving at least one threat in relation to his work.
In March 2009, state investigators announced the arrest of a local merchant, Mario Cereso Barrera, and said the killing had been motivated by a dispute over a necklace transaction. Local reporters told CPJ they were skeptical about the investigation, particularly the alleged motive and investigators’ apparent failure to interview witnesses. Guerrero state human rights officials have seconded their concerns. Hipólito Lugo Cortes, director of the Guerrero state human rights commission, issued a statement expressing concern that Cereso had made self-incriminating statements under duress.
The Guerrero state attorney general’s office did not respond to CPJ requests for comment on the case or the accusations made by the local human rights office. Cereso remained in detention without formal charge as of June 2010.
Motive Unconfirmed: CPJ is investigating to determine whether the death was work-related.