Ruiz, 21, a photographer with Monclova-based daily La Prensa, was found fatally shot in Monterrey, Nueva León state, early the morning of March 25, according to CPJ interviews and news accounts.
Ruiz had been abducted the previous night along with José Luis Cerda Meléndez, a Televisa-Monterrey entertainment show host, as the two were leaving the station's studios in a vehicle driven by Cerda's cousin, Juan Gómez Meléndez. According to press reports, unidentified armed men forced the three out of the vehicle and into a van.
Ruiz, Cerda, and Gómez were found with gunshot wounds to the head, the local press reports said. Press reports said a graffiti message referencing a major drug cartel was found on a wall near Cerda's body. "Stop cooperating with the Zetas," it said. (In a strange twist, an armed individual seized Cerda's body in the midst of the police crime scene investigation and moved it to another location, the Spanish news agency EFE reported.)
Ruiz had traveled to Monterrey for a piece on Cerda, a one-time drug addict and street thug who had become a popular TV personality, La Prensa's editorial director, Jesús Medina, told CPJ. "Luis was an incidental victim," he said.
Ruiz, who had just eight months on the job, was still in college and had won a state journalism award last year, Medina told CPJ. "There was so much ahead for him," he said. "He had a personal quality and a professional quality that made him stand out."