BY Efe News Agency

Kidnappers murder journalist in Mexico

A journalist and her husband were murdered by kidnappers in the western Mexican state of Nayarit, a spokesman of the state Attorney General's Office told Efe news agency




Jazmin Martinez was a former cultural and entertainment reporter for the Televisa network.

The 26-year-old Martinez and her 30-year-old husband, Alejandro Ramirez Topete, had been kidnapped last week.

Two of the five suspected members of the kidnapping gang involved in the killings have been arrested.

"They were in the same vehicle when they were deprived of their freedom Dec 31 at night" on the Tepic-Guadalajara highway, near the crossing called Jala, some 70 km from Tepic, the capital of Nayarit, the AG's office spokesman said Monday.

The victims were "taken to a rural spot that is near the Nayar bridge, some 10 or 15 km away" and kept hidden while "they communicated with their relatives to demand a ransom of two million pesos (over $133,950)," he said.

Martinez and Ramirez Topete, who were beaten to death with a stone, were apparently murdered due to "a lack of coordination" among the kidnappers, the official said.

"The ones who were holding them captive decided to kill them without knowing whether the negotiations were progressing," the spokesman said.

The murders "were something that happened, it's something unrelated to journalistic activity", the official said in response to a question from Efe about any possible links between the crime and Martinez's work.

Martinez was "currently providing her knowledge to a Boy Scout troop", he said.

Ramon Cruz Aguilar, an 18-year-old identified as Martinez's killer, and Luis Alberto Espinosa, another 18-year-old who served as the gang's lookout, are under arrest.

"The other three have been fully identified, but they are fugitives," the AG's office spokesman said.

Over the weekend, officials in the Gulf state of Veracruz said they were trying to find a journalist who worked as a stringer for several newspapers and had been reported missing.

Moises Sanchez Cerezo's whereabouts is not known since Friday, Veracruz Attorney General Luis Angel Bravo Contreras said.

The journalist covers the news and posts stories about local corruption and community issues on social networks, media reports said.

Sanchez Cerezo works as a reporter in the city of Medellin de Bravo, writing stories and taking photos for his small weekly, La Union, the Cronica de Xalapa newspaper reported.

He is also a community activist in several neighbourhoods, where residents have joined hands to fight crime, the newspaper said.

The Martinez and Sanchez Cerezo cases are the first two involving attacks on the press this year in Mexico, which is considered one of the most dangerous countries in Latin America for journalists.

See the original story here.