CIUDAD VICTORIA, Mexico (AP) — A journalist was shot to death Wednesday in northeastern Mexico as he was leaving his house with his 23-year-old daughter, who was seriously injured, according to state prosecutors and the newspaper that employed him.
Antonio de la Cruz, 47, was a reporter for the local newspaper Expreso for almost three decades. His death brings to 12 the number of journalists killed this year in the country, the deadliest for the Mexican press.
De la Cruz was shot at the door of his house in Ciudad Victoria, capital of the state of Tamaulipas on the U.S. border. The region is mired in violence linked to organized crime.
Expreso covers all kinds of news in the city, including security issues. De la Cruz reported on rural and social topics such as water shortages.
He also covered the Movimiento Ciudadano political party and its local deputy, Gustavo Cardenas Gutiérrez, who condemned the killing.
De la Cruz was “very aware of the reality of Tamaulipas, very brave,” Miguel Domínguez, director of the newspaper, said in an interview with Milenio Televisión.
“He never expressed any concern to us,” Domínguez said.
Expreso has been targeted over the years. In 2012, one of the worst years of drug cartel violence, a car bomb exploded in front of the newspaper’s building. In 2018, a cooler with a human head inside was left at the newspaper, with a warning not to report on violence in the city.
The governor of Tamaulipas, Francisco García Cabeza de Vaca, promised an investigation of the killing Wednesday so that “this cowardly crime does not go unpunished.”
The state prosecutor’s office said that the specialized unit for investigating crimes against freedom of expression had been informed. The federal prosecutor’s office said it was opening an investigation.