Members of the media hold signs with pictures of slain journalist Miroslava Breach in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, on March 23, 2019. Authorities recently arrested a second suspect in her killing. (Reuters/Jose Luis Gonzalez)

CPJ welcomes arrest in case of slain Mexican journalist Miroslava Breach

Mexico City, December 18, 2020 – Mexican authorities yesterday arrested a second suspect in the 2017 killing of La Jornada reporter Miroslava Breach Velducea, according to La Jornada and a statement by the Special Federal Prosecutor for Attention to Crimes Committed Against Freedom of Expression.

The prosecutor’s statement named the suspect as Hugo Amed S., and La Jornada identified the suspect as the former mayor of Chínipas, a small town in Chihuahua state.

“The arrest of a second suspect is a welcome and long overdue step to end impunity in the case of Miroslava Breach Velducea’s killing, one of the most shocking journalist slayings in Mexico,” said Jan-Albert Hootsen, CPJ’s Mexico representative. “Mexican authorities must now continue the search for the mastermind behind the killing and bring all suspects to justice.”

According to the prosecutor’s statement, the suspect allegedly facilitated the killing by passing information about Breach to Los Salazar, an organized crime group active in Chihuahua, which is suspected to have orchestrated and executed the attack. Breach previously reported on the gang’s attempts to have its members elected as mayors in several towns in the area.

On August 21, Juan Carlos Moreno Ochoa was sentenced to 50 years in prison for his participation in the killing, as CPJ documented at the time. Police are still searching for a third suspect, identified as Jaciel N., who is suspected of having driven the getaway car, and Crispin Salazar, the head of Los Salazar, as the alleged mastermind, according to Sara Mendiola, director of Propuesta Cívica, a legal group that represents Breach’s family, who spoke to CPJ in a phone interview.