4th Journalist Murdered in Mexico Within Weeks
Suspected Mexican cartel gunmen murdered yet another Mexican reporter in the resort state of Baja California Sur. The attack marks the fourth murder of a Mexican journalist within a matter of weeks.
On Friday, a team of gunmen fired multiple shots at veteran crime reporter Maximino Rodriguez Palacios outside of a shopping mall in the resort town of La Paz Baja California Sur, Mexico’s Colectivo Pericu reported. Rodriguez was the crime beat reporter for Colectivo Pericu.
According to the newspaper, the attack took place when Rodriguez and his wife were pulling into the shopping center and were parking their vehicle. That is when a group of gunmen riding in a white SUV used assault rifles to fire a barrage of bullets at Rodriguez; his wife was not injured in the attack.
Colectivo Pericu issued a strong condemnation of the attack against Rodriguez and demanded that Mexican authorities put a stop to the impunity with which journalists are targeted. In addition to working for Colectivo Pericu, Rodriguez had previously been the spokesman for the attorney general’s office and for the state court.
“We come together in the sorrow that has undertaken those who knew you and worked with you,” Colectivo Pericu wrote in their story.
Rodriguez’s murder comes just days after cartel gunmen with the La Linea Faction of the Juarez Cartel murdered long time journalist Miroslava Breach. As Breitbart Texas reported, Breach had uncovered how the mother in law of Kingpin Carlos Arturo “El 80” Quintana” had been trying to run for mayor in a local municipality in Chihuahua.
Just days prior to Breach’s murder, unknown gunmen shot and killed Ricardo Monlui Cabrera, the director for El Politico newspaper in Yanga, Veracruz. That same month, on March 2, Cecilio Pineda Brito, the director for La Voz de Tierra Caliente in Guerrero was gunned down by two men in a motorcycle. All of the journalists had been receiving threats prior to their murders.
Ildefonso Ortiz is an award-winning journalist with Breitbart Texas. He co-founded the Cartel Chronicles project with Brandon Darby and Stephen K. Bannon. You can follow him on Twitter and on Facebook.
A federal grand jury returned an indictment charging 17 defendants for drug trafficking in direct connection with a Mexican drug cartel.
The arrests and indictments of the 17 defendants were the result of a year-long investigation into a Mexican drug cartel operation that smuggled narcotics into the United States from California to Colorado, according to a statement from the Department of Justice.
Jeff Dorschner, Spokesman for the Colorado U.S. Attorney’s Office, told Breitbart Texas, “During the course of this investigation law enforcement determined that a Mexican Cartel was involved. The identity of that cartel is not being released as it remains the subject of an ongoing criminal investigation.”
According to the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), the Sinaloa Mexican Drug Cartel is known to be the dominant drug cartel in both California and Colorado.
Of the 17 defendants, 11 are from Mexico, four from El Salvador, and two are from California. Seven of the defendants are considered fugitives.
The defendants are alleged to have brought large quantities of cocaine and methamphetamine into the United States through California using secret compartments in vehicles. The drugs were kept in stash houses in Aurora, Colorado, before being distributed at a local grocery store.
A money transfer station at the grocery store was used to send some of the proceeds back to Mexico. The rest of the funds were smuggled back in secret vehicle compartments.
“We are committed to dismantling and removing the threat posed by these criminal organizations flooding American communities with dangerous narcotics,” said Attorney General Jeff Sessions. “This organization is alleged to have moved large amounts of meth and cocaine from Mexico to Colorado, with devastating impact on communities in their wake. I want to congratulate the outstanding federal, state, and local law enforcement cooperation that resulted in this highly successful operation. Replicating this kind of aggressive law enforcement take down is critical to breaking the backs of these criminal organizations.”
The Defendants from Mexico are: Jose Tapia-Rubio, 58, (naturalized); Selestino Hernandez-Mayo, 45; Fredy Paz-Herrera, age unknown; “Bancholas”, age unknown, (thought to be from Mexico); Rodrigo Mora-Sanchez, 49, (naturalized); Oscar Mora-Campos, age unknown; Eduardo Jimenez-Sanchez, 37; “Changuito”, age unknown, (thought to be from Mexico); “Um-9584”, age unknown, (thought to be from Mexico); Leopoldo Rodriguez-Padilla, Age Unknown; And Heberto Mora-Sanchez, 43.
The Defendants from El Salvador are Lara Zamora-Cruz, age unknown; Claudia Lisseth-Lara, 41, (naturalized); Vilma L. Zamora, 67; and Jose Chica-Orellana, age unknown.
The Defendants from California are Juan Carlos Medina-Soberanis, 31; and Erik Parra.
The indictment contains 45 counts, including an asset forfeiture allegation against the stash houses that were used to hide the drugs.
Ryan Saavedra is a contributor for Breitbart Texas and can be found on Twitter at @RealSaavedra.