Two suspects in the November 2008 slaying of journalist Armando Rodriguez Carreon were arrested, the Mexican Attorney General’s Office said Thursday.
Hugo Valenzuela Castañeda and another suspect identified only as “El 7” were detained by army troops in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico’s murder capital, which lies just across the border from El Paso, Texas.
The AG’s office said Valenzuela admitted belonging to La Linea, a gang that acts as enforcers for the Juarez drug cartel.
Another member of La Linea, the late Jose Antonio Acosta, is suspected of having ordered the murder of Rodriguez, a reporter for El Diario de Juarez newspaper.
The suspects told interrogators the journalist was slain “for doing many news stories against La Linea,” the AG’s office said Thursday.
The Mexican government announced Wednesday a plan to boost security for journalists following the murders of 11 news professionals so far this year.
That announcement came nearly a week after Luis Carlos Santiago, a 21-year-old El Diario de Juarez news photographer, was killed and colleague Carlos Sanchez badly wounded in an attack that bore the hallmarks of a professional hit.
El Diario caused a stir last weekend by calling on drug traffickers operating in Juarez, where gangland violence has claimed more than 8,300 lives since December 2006, to let journalists know exactly what they are allowed to report.
Sixty-five journalists have been slain since 2000 in Mexico, according to the independent National Human Rights Commission.