Authorities Say Two Journalists Killed In Robbery Not By Drug Cartels

As was reported here in September two female Mexican journalists had been found murdered and the bodies of Ana María Yarce Viveros the founder of the weekly magazine Contralínea and Rocio González Trápaga who was a freelance journalist and use to work for Televisa were found in a Mexico City park on September 1. With the murders and disappearance of 80 journalists since 2000 believed by many at the hands of drug cartels, reporters and others presumed Viveros and Trápaga had suffered the same fate. However Mexican prosecuters have charged two with a third possibly under arrest for the murders during a robbery as reported by the website Reporters Without Borders in this update of a previous posting.

Two men – Oscar Yair Quiñones Emmer (29) and Lázaro Hernández Ángeles (26) – were arrested on 30 September and 1 October suspected of killing journalists Ana María Marcela Yarce Viveros and Rocío González Trápaga.

“We welcome the rapidity of federal officials in moving to punish these killings widely publicised in Mexico and abroad,” the worldwide media freedom organisation said. “Even though robbery appears to have been the motive, rather than the journalists’ work, it shows the fight to punish the killers of media workers can sometimes be successful. We await action on the many other unsolved murders and disappearances of journalists in Mexico over the past decade.”

The two named suspects reportedly confessed they had attacked the two women to rob them of a large sum of money they wanted to change into US dollars. Federal District prosecutor Miguel Ángel Mancera told Reporters Without Borders yesterday that Yair Quiñones had known Yarce for three years since working as a parking attendant at the offices of the weekly Contralínea, which Yarce co-founded.

The prosecutor said the two women had driven to a meeting with the men near a metro station, from which they had been taken in a van to a building in the eastern suburb of Iztalpalapa, where they were forced at gunpoint by Yair Quiñones to undress and be searched. González was strangled with a cord while Yarce was held upstairs and strangled soon afterwards. The killers took the bodies in the van to a park and dumped them. Each journalist had also been shot twice, apparently after being killed.

The murder investigation moved quickly after the phone records of the journalists were checked. Yair Quiñones was already known for theft. The prosecutor’s account matched the findings of Contralínea editor Miguel Badillo, who called the investigation “clear and satisfactory.”