Mexican Police Find Bullet-Ridden Body of Journalist in Latest Slay

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Police found the bullet-ridden bodies of missing journalist Adolfo Sanchez Guzman and another man, in what appeared to be the second killing of a reporter in 10 days in the Gulf coast state of Veracruz.

Investigative police said they discovered the body of Sanchez Guzman, 32, on Thursday near Ciudad Mendoza, 75 miles (120 kilometers) west of the state capital, not far from where his car was found abandoned on Tuesday night.

Veracruz Attorney General Emeterio Lopez said Sanchez Guzman had been shot twice in the back of the head at close range; police said the position of the body suggested he may have been kneeling. The second man, identified as a friend of Guzman named Cesar Martinez Lopez, was also apparently shot to death, though an icepick was found near his body.

Autopsies were being carried out on both men, and no cause of death had yet been formally determined.

It was unclear whether Sanchez Guzman’s death was linked to his work. Jaime Pizano, head of investigative police in Ciudad Mendoza, said Martinez Lopez, who was allegedly linked to thefts of freight trucks, may have been the target.

Sanchez Guzman was in negotiations to renew his contract with his employer, the Veracruz affiliate of the Televisa television network, and also reported for a radio station and an Internet news site.

Sanchez Guzman’s death came just days after the Nov. 21 slaying of Roberto Marcos Garcia, chief reporter for the investigative magazine Testimonio, who was toppled from his motorcycle, run over and shot four times at close range by unidentified assailants on the outskirts of Veracruz City.

Garcia had written articles on drug trafficking, auto theft and corruption, among other crimes.

In a press statement, Paris-based Reporters Without Borders condemned the attack, noting that “more than ever before, the fight against organized crime is an essential requirement for the defense of press freedom.”

Since 2004, at least 13 journalists have met violent deaths in Mexico, most shot to death, presumably as revenge for unfavorable reports on criminals, drug traffickers and corrupt government officials.

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