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.
In February 2007, the state attorney general ordered the release of both men, citing lack of evidence.