New York, Feb. 28, 2000–Federal agents in Yuma, Arizona, have arrested two brothers charged in the 1997 murder of Mexican newspaper publisher Benjamín Flores González. According to The Arizona Daily Star, Ismael and Gabriel González Gutiérrez were arrested on drug trafficking charges on February 24, following their indictment in Phoenix on February 9. The murder charges are still pending.
On July 15, 1997, Flores González, editor and publisher of the daily La Prensa in the Mexican border town of San Luis Río Colorado, south of Yuma, was assassinated by a gunman who is now in prison. Flores González had covered the illegal drug trade aggressively, and the González Gutiérrez brothers were one of his favorite subjects.
In 1997, Mexican authorities accused Ismael and Gabriel González Gutiérrez, as well as their brother Jaime, of having ordered the assassination. At the time, Jaime González Gutiérrez was jailed in Mexico for drug smuggling. Shortly before his death, Flores González had published a piece contending that González Gutiérrez was getting preferential treatment at the jail where he was being held. For reasons as yet unexplained, the drug trafficker was released from prison on March 5, 1999.
See also “Journalist’s murder suspects arrested for drug smuggling,” by Miriam Davidson (under the heading “MexicoVista.com”).