Gunmen kill reporter in Mexico’s most violent state

MEXICO CITY (AP) — Officials in Guanajuato, the state with the most homicides in Mexico, said Monday that gunmen killed a reporter for a local news site while he was covering a story.

The state interior department said it lamented the killing early Monday of Israel Vázquez Rangel, a reporter for the online newspaper El Salmantino. It pledged that prosecutors would investigate the crime.

El Salmantino confirmed his death, saying Vázquez Rangel was the victim of a “cowardly and atrocious attack … while he was carrying out his honorable work as a journalist.”

Local media said he showed up at a scene in the city of Salamanca where body parts had reportedly been left on a street. He reportedly arrived in a car with news site’s logo. Apparently, the killers were still there when he arrived, and two men opened fire on him.

Guanajuato, a farming and industrial hub in north-central Mexico, saw 3,453 slayings in the first nine months of the year, more than any other of Mexico’s 32 states. The state is the epicenter of turf wars between the Jalisco drug cartel, local gangs and the Sinaloa cartel.

At least eight journalists have been killed in Mexico so far this year.

In late October, television journalist Arturo Alba Medina was shot to death in the border city of Ciudad Juárez, across from El Paso, Texas. Alba Medina worked as a TV anchor and served as spokesman for a local college, the Instituto Tecnológico of Ciudad Juárez. Local media said he hosted the Telediario news show on Multimedios Televisión and had reported on crime and violence.

In early September, newspaper reporter Julio Valdivia was killed in Mexico’s Gulf coast state of Veracruz and decapitated. Valdivia covered a rural zone near the border with Oaxaca state that has long been plagued by gang violence.

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