Slain Veracruz reporter wasn’t killed over her work, officials say


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A reporter who wrote crime and police stories in the Mexican port city of Veracruz was found dead Tuesday morning, but officials made an early denial that she was killed for her newsgathering.

Yolanda Ordaz de la Cruz worked at Notiver (link in Spanish), the same employer of a columnist who wrote critically about politics and was killed in an ambush in his home in late June, along with two members of his family, as The Times reported.


Yet state authorities denied in a statement Tuesday that Ordaz was killed for her ‘journalistic work,’ hinting that the motive behind her death was ‘links to organized crime’ (link in Spanish). The statement did not elaborate.

Veracruz is a critical drug- and human-trafficking route along the Gulf of Mexico that is presumed to be controlled by the violent Zetas cartel.

Ordaz had been missing for two days and was found decapitated in the Boca del Rio municipality neighboring the Veracruz port, reports said. Her body was left with a note, a tactic often employed by cartel hitmen. The contents of the note were not immediately known.

The reporter is the third to be killed in Veracruz state this year and among more than 70 killed since 2000, according to press rights groups and media tallies.

Attacks on journalists in Mexico -- including kidnapping, torture and intimidation -- have risen since the start of the government’s military-led campaign against organized crime in 2006. An international report released in June by the Committee to Protect Journalists said ‘anti-press violence continued to climb in Mexico, where authorities appear powerless in bringing killers to justice.’

-- Daniel Hernandez in Mexico City