Prosecutor says Mexican reporter shot in Chiapas was killed because of his work as a journalist

This story has been updated.

The public prosecutor's office of Chiapas confirmed the detention of a man in connection with the Sept. 21 murder of Mario Gómez, a reporter for El Heraldo de Chiapas in Mexico who was shot in the town of Yajalón while leaving his home to complete some work, according to the paper where he was employed. The official said announcements about others implicated in the case could be forthcoming.

Luis Alberto Sánchez, homicides prosecutor in Chiapas, previously confirmed Gómez was killed for his journalistic work, according to El Sol de México. The newspaper reported that Sánchez said in an interview with journalist Carlos Loret de Mola that Gómez had denounced drug dealing in the area.

In addition to saying that one person had been detained, he also said authorities located the intellectual and material author and eight other people who allegedly worked together for the murder, El Sol de México reported.

A video published by El Heraldo de Chiapas shows the moment in which a man, identified as Gómez, was shot by a person riding on the back of a motorcycle. El Heraldo de Chiapas reported a strong police presence in Yajalón the day following the murder and a group of journalists also marched that day for justice in the case.

As a correspondent for El Heraldo de Chiapas for eight years, he covered “general news with articles on politics, justice and social events,” AFP reported, citing a source from his newsroom.

Gómez denounced death threats before the prosecutor in 2008, 2010, 2016 and 2017, according to newspaper El Universal. The state prosecutor said he did not have police protection in recent times, but there would be investigations into why it was taken away, the newspaper added.

Mexico is considered the deadliest country for journalists in the western hemisphere.

The federal Protection Mechanism for Human Rights Defenders and Journalists just received emergency funds from the government as it was set to run out of money by the end of September. It has not been reported whether Gómez requested or received assistance from the mechanism.