Murder Arrests in Mexico Met With Skepticism

The New York Times, 8/16/12

The local authorities in Veracruz State declared the case closed. Members of a drug gang had confessed to one of the state’s most notorious crimes in recent months: the murders of three photojournalists and a newspaper publicist.

But as soon as the arrests were announced on Wednesday, questions began to surface, beginning with the most obvious one. Why would the seven suspects, picked up on drug and weapons charges, spontaneously admit to far more serious crimes, in this case four brutal killings?…

According to Mr. Flores, the break in the investigation came when marines arrested Juan Carlos Hernández Pulido as he sold drugs in a parking lot. Inside his car, along with drugs and weapons, was identification belonging to Ana Irasema Becerra Jiménez, a publicist for a local newspaper. Her body was found in May along with those of the three photojournalists, Guillermo Luna Varela, Gabriel Huge Córdoba and Esteban Rodríguez Rodríguez.

Mr. Hernández told investigators that his boss and another drug boss “killed various reporters,” apparently in retaliation for the murder of other reporters by a rival criminal organization.

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