Thu, Nov 23, 2006 - Page 7 News List

Crime reporter run over, then shot on Mexican highway

AP , ALVARADO, MEXICO

A reporter for a weekly investigative crime magazine was knocked off his motorcycle and run over on Tuesday by unidentified assailants who then shot him at point-blank range with a 9mm handgun, state authorities said.

Roberto Marcos Garcia, 50, chief reporter for the weekly Testimonio magazine in Veracruz, was shot four times in the head and other parts of his body along a highway 8km northeast of that city, the state attorney general's office said.

No arrests have been made.

Garcia had written investigative reports on crimes ranging from drug trafficking to auto theft, as well as the alleged corruption of local officials. The magazine was distributed throughout the Gulf coast state of Veracruz.

Colleagues of Garcia said that he told them recently he was being followed and had received threats, but refused an offer of police protection.

"He never stopped and that is what led him to his death," said Testimonio photographer Raul Alfonso Rivera.

State Deputy Attorney General Marco Antonio Aguilar said it was too soon to speculate on possible motives for the slaying, but he said that at least two people were involved in Garcia's death.

Garcia was killed while returning from an information-gathering trip to the state's coast guard, Rivera said.

Just meters from his body, the killers abandoned a Chrysler PT Cruiser that police later determined had been stolen in Mexico City on May 31.

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