Two Brothers Arrested in Killing of Mexican Journalist

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Two brothers were in custody Monday in connection with a double homicide, including that of a Mexican journalist who police said did not appear to be the main target of the attack.

A preliminary police investigation indicated that the assailants were after Cesar Martinez Lopez ? whom the brothers had accused of stealing their truck ? and not Adolfo Sanchez Guzman, a 32-year-old reporter who was with Martinez when the two were killed, district attorney official Jaime Pizano said.

The bodies of both men were found Thursday near Ciudad Mendoza, 75 miles (120 kilometers) west of the port city of Veracruz. Sanchez Guzman’s car was found abandoned near the site Tuesday night, the night police believe the crime was committed.

Authorities detained brothers Juan Carlos Palestino, 30, and Julian Rosas Palestino, 34, on Friday, after witnesses said the two men had been looking and asking for Martinez, saying that he had stolen their truck, Pizano said.

Sanchez Guzman was merely believed to be in the wrong place at the wrong time, giving Martinez a ride to a car repair shop when the Palestino brothers finally caught up to Martinez.

Sanchez Guzman was shot twice in the back of the head at close range, while Martinez was shot once in the head, police said. Both had been tortured before they died, said Pizano, without elaborating.

Initially there was some question about whether Sanchez Guzman’s death might be related to his work; 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.

Sanchez Guzman worked for the Veracruz affiliate of the Televisa television network and also reported for a radio station and an Internet news site.

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