García, a reporter for the Veracruz-based publication Testimonio and local correspondent for the Mexico City weekly Alarma, was found murdered near the town of Mandinga y Matoza.
Traveling by motorcycle from Veracruz to the nearby city of Alvarado,
García was run down by a stolen car with Mexico City plates at 1 p.m.,
the Mexican press reported. Unidentified assailants shot García while
he was on the ground, twice in the head and at least four times in the
chest, according to press reports and a CPJ source.
Marco Antonio Aguilar Yunes, a regional deputy prosecutor, told the
U.S.-based Univisión that authorities found bullet casings from at
least two guns at the scene and recovered the attackers’ car.
García had reported for 13 years on violent crime and drug trafficking
in Veracruz, a colleague told CPJ. García’s last report, published a
week before his death in the bimonthly Testimonio,
detailed the activities of a gang of thieves who stole containers
coming into the port of Veracruz, the colleague said. Other reporters
in Veracruz said that García had previously received death threats on
his cell phone.
State police arrested José Cortés
Terrones, known as “El Loro,” on December 1. Two weeks before the
killing, Cortés allegedly warned García that two men angry with his
crime reporting were going to kidnap him, the Veracruz daily El Dictamen reported. Cortés acknowledged he knew García but denied any involvement in the murder, local press reports said.
Cortés’ arrest led to the detention of another suspect, Sergio Muñoz
López, known as “El Drácula.” Local press reports alleged that Muñoz
was among a group of people who severely beat García three years ago in
a work-related attack.