MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Mexican prosecutors are investigating a small-town mayor in connection with the murder of a journalist in the Mexican Gulf coast state of Veracruz, whose brutalized body was found over the weekend, a state official said on Monday.
A local drug gang member confessed to kidnapping and killing journalist Moises Sanchez, in league with five accomplices, Veracruz state prosecutor Luis Bravo said. The accused said he was given orders by a local police official and the bodyguard of Medellin de Bravo Mayor Omar Cruz,
There was also evidence of a dispute between Cruz and the slain reporter, Bravo added. Cruz could not immediately be reached for comment.
Bravo told Reuters he will ask state lawmakers on Monday to strip the mayor of his immunity from prosecution, a privilege that elected officials have in Mexico.
“It would be irresponsible not to proceed and ask for his immunity to be lifted so that we can investigate the mayor,” Bravo said.
The death is the latest in a series of grisly gangland killings to blight Mexico, where more than 100,000 people have been killed in gang-related violence since 2007.
Sanchez, who was the editor of the local newspaper La Union, had been missing since Jan 2.
He is the 11th journalist killed in Veracruz in the past four years, according to Article 19, a group that advocates for freedom of expression.
Veracruz is the most dangerous state for journalists in Mexico, according to Article 19.
Mexico was one of the countries with the highest number of media killings in 2014, according to the group International Federation of Journalists.
In a separate case, the government has detained the former mayor of a city in Mexico’s southwest and accused him of being a mastermind behind the abduction and apparent massacre of 43 trainee teachers. The mayor, currently being held in jail, has denied the charges, according to local media.
That case sparked widespread outrage at impunity and corruption in Mexico, triggering mass protests and President Enrique Pena Nieto’s deepest crisis.
Reporting by Joanna Zuckerman Bernstein; Editing by Michael O'Boyle, Simon Gardner and Alan Crosby