“Very brave” journalist shot to death, daughter wounded while leaving house in Mexico

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. He is the 12th journalist killed this year in the country. 

Assailants killed journalist Antonio de la Cruz while leaving his home, in Ciudad Victoria
Police officers stand near the vehicle of journalist Antonio de la Cruz, who was killed by unknown assailants while leaving his home, in Ciudad Victoria, in Tamaulipas state, Mexico, June 29, 2022.

STRINGER / REUTERS


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.

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  Antonio de la Cruz

twitter.com/tonypresss


“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.

Other Mexican journalists killed in 2022

Last month, two colleagues at a news site were shot to death in the Gulf coast state of Veracruz. The Veracruz State Prosecutor’s Office said it was investigating the killings of Yessenia Mollinedo Falconi and Sheila Johana García Olivera, the director and a reporter, respectively, of the online news site El Veraz in Cosoleacaque.

In March, prosecutors in the western state of Michoacan said reporter Armando Linares was shot to death at a home in the town of Zitacuaro. His killing came six weeks after the slaying of a colleague, Roberto Toledo, from the same outlet, Monitor Michoacan. It was Linares who announced Toledo’s death Jan. 31 in a video posted to social media.

In early March, gunmen killed Juan Carlos Muñiz, who covered crime for the online news site Testigo Minero in the state of Zacatecas.

Jorge Camero, the director of an online news site who was until recently a municipal worker in the northern state of Sonora, was killed in late February.

In early February, Heber López, director of the online news site Noticias Web, was shot to death in the southern state of Oaxaca.

Reporter Lourdes Maldonado López was found shot to death inside her car in Tijuana on Jan. 23. In a news conference in 2019, Maldonado Lopez told Mexico’s president she feared for her life. 

Reporter José Luis Gamboa was killed in the Gulf coast state of Veracruz on Jan. 10.

Crime photographer Margarito Martínez was gunned down outside his Tijuana home on Jan. 17.  Guillermo Arias, whose photographs chronicle life and death in the streets of Tijuana, worked with Martinez for many years.

He recalled the painful experience of covering the murder of his friend and fellow journalist.

“His daughter arrived and asked me not to photograph her dad’s body,” Arias told CBS News.

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