Authorities in Mexico arrest former police director linked to attack against journalist Karla Silva

Mexican authorities announced the arrest of former director of the Municipal Police of Silao (in Guanajuato state), Nicasio Aguirre Guerreros, who is accused of ordering the 2014 attack against journalist journalist Karla Janeth Silva Guerrero, according to El Universal.

According to the state prosecutor’s investigations, Aguirre Guerrero allegedly talked about the plan to attack Silva in the company of former operational coordinator of the Silao police, Jorge Alejandro Fonseca Durán, El Universal said. According to these investigations, the two former policemen allegedly hired three men to beat Silva, correspondent in Silao for the newspaper El Heraldo de León, El Universal continued.

The attack occurred on Sept. 4, 2014 when two men entered the newspaper offices of El Heraldo where they found Silva and an assistant of the newspaper; another man waited in a car, according to El País. Inside, the men brutally beat Silva while making comments about her journalistic work like “tone down your articles,” according to the 2014 annual report of the Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression of the CIDH.

According to that report, Silva’s articles tended to be critical of the local administration. The newspaper assistant was also hurt in the attack, according to Animal Político.

Although Aguirre was linked to the case soon after the attack, he since has been a fugitive, according to the Special Rapporteur.

His arrest on March 30 came just days after the capture of the former mayor of Silao, Enrique Benjamín Solís Arzola who is accused of being the alleged mastermind of the journalist’s beating. Solís Arzola allegedly ordered Aguirre Guerrero to coordinate the attackEl Universal reported.

With this latest arrest, there are now six people linked to the crime. The first arrests were those of those who carried out the crime, as well as Fonseca Durán, according to Sin Embargo and the Special Rapporteur.

However, in April 2015, a judge ruled against those who carried out the crime and granted them bail since “it could not be verified that the [injuries] endangered the life of the journalist,” according to Article 19 Mexico.

Note from the editor: This story was originally published by the Knight Center’s blog Journalism in the Americas, the predecessor of LatAm Journalism Review.