Yolanda Ordaz de la Cruz

Beats Covered:
Local or Foreign:

The decapitated body of veteran police beat reporter Ordaz was found at 4 a.m. on July 26, two days after she was seized by armed men as she left her home. The body was found near the offices of the newspaper Imagen.

In a press conference, state prosecutor Reynaldo Escobar Pérez said Ordaz's murder was not linked to her work and that the evidence indicated her killers were members of organized crime. He also suggested the journalist might have had ties to organized crime. Notiver immediately called for the prosecutor's resignation in an editorial, saying, "We strongly reject this accusation and designate it as unfair, irresponsible, and stupid."

Authorities appeared to take a broader view of the investigation in their subsequent statements. A spokeswoman for the prosecutor's office, Magda Zayas, told CPJ the journalist's work was being considered as a possible motive.

On August 5, Veracruz Gov. Javier Duarte de Ochoa said authorities were pursuing multiple lines of investigation. He said investigators found an identification card belonging to Ordaz among the possessions of two unidentified criminal suspects killed in a military operation earlier that week, press reports said. Mexico's Human Rights Commission said it would investigate Ordaz's killing, The Associated Press said.

A note found with Ordaz's body seemed to connect her murder to the killing in June of well-known columnist Miguel Angel López Velasco, the spokeswoman Zayas said. She said the note, signed "Carranza," said: "Friends can also betray you." Reporters in Veracruz told CPJ that the gruesome killing and the placement of the body near a newspaper appeared to be an ominous message meant for the press.

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