José Luis Gamboa Arenas

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On January 10, 2022, José Luis Gamboa Arenas’ body was found in the Floresta neighborhood of the eastern Mexican city of Veracruz with at least seven stab wounds, according to news reports and Israel Hernández, the executive secretary of the Veracruz State Commission for Attention to and Protection of Journalists, an autonomous agency within the Veracruz state government, who spoke to CPJ in a phone interview.

Hernández told CPJ that authorities had opened an investigation into the killing. Those news reports said authorities did not have a record of threats to Gamboa over his work, and that the killing may have occurred during an attempted robbery.

Gamboa founded and edited the Inforegio news website, co-founded and edited the news website La Noticia, and published news on his personal Facebook page, where he had about 7,500 followers, Twitter, where he had about 1,000 followers, and YouTube, where he had about 100 followers, according to those news reports and CPJ’s review of his pages.

At those outlets and social media accounts, he frequently reported on and provided commentary about security issues; his most recent publications before his death were a YouTube video and a Facebook post discussing the Veracruz state government’s alleged failure to respond to organized crime and a string of recent murders.

Gamboa’s family identified his body on January 14, according to those news reports and a statement by the State Commission for Attention to and Protection of Journalists.

On April 26, 2022, the Veracruz public prosecutor’s office pubished a short statement on its Facebook page, in which it announced the arrest of a suspect for his alleged participation in the killing, identifiied as Eduardo “N.” The statement provided no further details on the identity of the suspect or the suspected motive of the killing.

CPJ repeatedly called the public prosecutor’s office for comment, but no one answered.