The governor of Mexico's Veracruz state has blamed a jailed leader of the Zetas cartel for the recent abduction and killing of a local journalist who covered crime.
Governor Javier Duarte said via Twitter that regional Zetas cartel boss Josele Marquéz, also known as El Chichi, was the "intellectual author of the assassination" of Anabel Flores, a reporter for the newspaper El Sol de Orizaba whose body was found bound and partially unclothed Feb. 9 in the neighboring state of Puebla. Flores, 32, died from suffocation and was found with a plastic bag pulled over her head, NBC News said.
A Josele Marquéz (a) El Chichi se le relaciona entre muchos crímenes la autoría intelectual del asesinato de la periodista Anabel Flores
— Javier Duarte (@Javier_Duarte) February 13, 2016
Marquéz was arrested Feb. 2 on other charges in the city of Cordoba, the Spanish news agency EFE said. Duarte also linked Marquéz to a 2011 attack on the newspaper El Buen Tono that was caught on security cameras.
Salazar was taken from her home at around 2 a.m. on Feb. 8 by a group of at least eight armed men claiming to have a warrant for her arrest, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists. The men dressed in military-like uniforms, pointed weapons at Salazar’s family and forced her into one of three trucks. She had reported on a number of murders, including the recent shooting death of a shopkeeper, the New York-based press freedom group said, citing Mexican news reports.
Since Duarte became governor of Mexico's eastern Veracruz state in 2010, at least 15 journalists have been killed and three are still missing, NBC News reported. Duarte's administration is "incapable and unwilling" to prosecute crimes against journalists, Carlos Lauría, CPJ's senior program coordinator for the Americas, said in a statement.
Reporters Without Borders ranks Mexico 148th out of 180 on its 2015 Press Freedom Index.