Bladimir Antuna García

Beats Covered:
Local or Foreign:

SUVs intercepted a Ford Explorer being driven by reporter Antuna on a main
street in the capital city of Durango in northern
Witnesses told local reporters that five men with assault rifles pulled Antuna
from his vehicle and drove him away. That evening, local authorities found
Antuna’s body near the kidnapping scene with a note that read: “This happened
to me for giving information to the military and for writing too much.” His
body showed evidence of strangulation, according to the coroner’s report. 

39, was a seasoned crime reporter in Durango,
where the Sinaloa and Zetas crime groups were battling for turf. Antuna told
the Mexico City-based Center for Journalism and Public Ethics that he had
received telephone death threats, some from callers identifying themselves as
members of the Zetas. He also told coworkers and the Mexico City magazine
Buzos that he had received threats.

April 28, 2009, as Antuna was leaving home, an assailant opened fire on his
house, the reporter recounted in an interview with
Buzos. No injuries were reported, but
Antuna received a call later that day from an anonymous person who said: “We’ve
found your home. It’s over for you now.” That day, Antuna reported the attack
and the earlier threats to the state attorney general’s office, but he told
colleagues that authorities never contacted him to follow up. Records on file
at the attorney general’s office show that authorities did not take his
complaint seriously, calling Antuna “paranoid.”

told the Center for Journalism and Public Ethics that he had been investigating
police corruption and, in the process, had collaborated with Eliseo Barrón
Hernández, a reporter who was slain in May 2009. Antuna was also investigating
the May 2009 murder of fellow
El Tiempo de Durango reporter Carlos Ortega Samper. 

López Ramírez, the state prosecutor for crimes against the press, acknowledged
in a March 2010 interview with CPJ that detectives had conducted only cursory
interviews with witnesses and the victim’s wife.