Second person arrested in the murder of Mexican journalist Anabel Flores

Mexican authorities arrested a second man accused of being the alleged mastermind and material author of the murder of journalist Anabel Flores Salazar that occurred in February of this year, newspaper El Universal reported.

According to the Attorney General (FGE for its initials in Spanish) of Veracruz, Luis Ángel Bravo Contreras, the suspect Manuel "N", alias 'El Cachorro,' is also identified as an area leader of the Los Zetas criminal group and has other open inquiries related to other “high-impact” crimes in the region.

This is the second arrest in the case of Flores Salazar’s murder. In May, the state prosecutor reported that Gonzalo Paulo “N” had been arrested for the crime. At the time, he said, “the journalist was deprived of liberty and life because of publications that affected the interested of a criminal group to which the captured person belongs.”

Concerning Gonzalo Paulo “N,” authorities said in the latest statement that investigations could “establish authorship” in the kidnapping of journalist and “in the events that subsequently deprived her of life.”

In the early hours of Feb. 8, a group of armed men abducted Flores Salazar from her home in the state of Veracruz. Her body was found the next day in the neighboring state of Puebla, about thirty minutes from where she lived.

The journalist covered crime for the newspaper El Sol de Orizaba in Veracruz and collaborated with other media outlets. She was the mother of a 4-year-old boy and a newborn baby.

Her murder gained national and international attention for reasons including the attitude of state authorities that were accused of “criminalizing” the journalist’s work. As some organizations said, authorities suggested a possible link between Flores Salazar and criminal groups in the area when they had just learned of her kidnapping, but not the murder.

The criticism also came from the fact that the murder occurred in one of the most dangerous states in Mexico for the exercise of journalism. According to the organization Article 19, during the administration of Governor Javier Duarte (which began in 2010), at least 14 journalists have been killed in Veracruz. This year alone there have been three murders in this state.

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.