Men attempt to set fire to house of Gregorio Jiménez, Mexican journalist killed in 2014

Mexican authorities detained two men after attempts were made to set fire to the family home of Gregorio Jiménez de la Cruz, a journalist killed in Veracruz in 2014.

According to newspaper La Jornada, the incident took place at dawn on Jan. 8 while Jiménez’ widow, Carmela Hernández Osorio, and her children were sleeping. In addition to trying to burn down the house, the men also damaged a car owned by the family, the newspaper added.

In an interview with La Jornada, Ana Laura Pérez, commission president of the State Commission for the Care and Protection of Journalists of Veracruz (CEAPP, for its initials in Spanish) said that the attack was stopped thanks to the intervention of their security guard.

Pérez also ruled out that the attack was linked to Jiménez’ murder, XEU Noticias said.

The CEAPP also issued a statement on Jan. 9 adding that the two men were detained after a guard called the Ministry of Public Security (SSP) and that they were “responding to authorities for their actions.” The release added that the men were under the influence of alcohol when the events occurred.

According to the release, after Jiménez’ murder, the organization determined that the family should relocate because their home is located near the house of the alleged intellectual author of the murder. They said the journalist’s widow received a property in the capital of Veracruz, but that she decided to return to her previous address.

“The Ministry of Public Security maintains the precautionary measure issued to the family, and the CEAPP corroborated, through a home visit, that they are complying with their surveillance duties,” the statement added.

Gregorio Jiménez de la Cruz was a crime reporter for newspapers Notisur and Liberal del Sur when he was abducted by an armed group that entered his house on Feb. 5, 2014 in Coatzacoalcos, Veracruz. His body was found on Feb. 11.

The journalist had reported on a series of abductions and disappearances in his town, and had received threats for the publication of an article about crimes committed close to a bar in the city, according to a previous note from the Office of the Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression of the IACHR.

Although six people were arrested and found guilty in the journalist’s murder, including a neighbor who allegedly ordered the crime, the commission of journalists who investigated his murder has doubts about whether all the possible hypotheses were actually investigated, including his journalistic work.

According to the commission’s report, ‘Gregorio: killed for reporting,’ the investigation ignored certain motives related to his work as a crime reporter, as well as his articles on organized crime activities.

Officials gave conflicting explanations for the motives behind the crime, linking it to personal revenge, but at other times saying they had not ruled out a link to Jiménez’ journalism, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ). Family members said the journalist was threatened for his reporting and that they believed he was killed for it.

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.