Miguel Ángel López Velasco

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Miguel Ángel López Velasco,
55, a prominent columnist with the Veracruz daily Notiver, his
wife, Agustina Solano de López, and their son Misael López Solana, 21, a Notiver photographer, were killed by
unidentified assailants who broke into their home around 5:30 a.m., the newspaper
reported.

Miguel López, a former deputy
editor with Notiver, wrote a column under the pseudonym Milo Vela
that addressed politics, security issues, and general interest topics. He was
also the editor of the newspaper’s police section, press reports said. Journalists
told CPJ the murders could have been retaliation for a recent column about local
drug trafficking. Mourning the death of the López family members, Notiver
did not publish an edition on June 21, the Mexico City-based daily La
Jornada
reported.

Veracruz Gov. Javier Duarte de Ochoa visited the offices of Notiver and gave a statement to
reporters. “Today in a cowardly act, an act that harms all society–because it
is not an attack against a medium of communication, it is not even an attack
against a professional group, it is an attack against society as a whole,
against Veracruz society–they killed our
friend Miguel Ángel López Velasco,” Duarte
said. He promised a full investigation, the Mexico City-based daily Milenio said.

Three days after the murders,
Veracruz State Attorney General Reynaldo Escobar Pérez announced that
investigators had identified the mastermind as Juan Carlos Carranza Saavedra,
known as “El Ñaca,” the Mexico City daily-based El Universal reported. In a press conference, Escobar said he wouldn’t
disclose details of the case, including possible motives, because it might
obstruct the investigation, press reports said. The attorney
general said the state was offering a reward of more than US$250,000 for
information on the case.