MEXICO CITY (AP) — Prosecutors in the southern Mexico state of Guerrero said Monday they have caught eight men, one of whom was carrying a weapon used to kill a Mexican journalist.
The eight were caught after some of them opened fire on police who pulled their vehicles over Friday near the city of Iguala. No police were wounded.
A total of three assault rifles and two other rifles were found on the men. Prosecutors said one of the weapons match that used to kill journalist Pablo Morrugares and a state police officer guarding him in Iguala in early August.
But the men were apparently pulled over only because police performing a routine patrol saw they were carrying weapons, not as suspects in Morrugares’ case. They were charged with attempted homicide, apparently for shooting at officers. Authorities did not say whether the men had any gang affiliation.
Mexican police have been criticized in the past for not adequately investigating journalists’ deaths.
Morrugares was director of the P.M Noticias Guerrero website, which frequently reports on the gang violence. Local media reported that threats against Morrugares had been displayed in the past on banners hung by roadsides, a tactic frequently used by drug gangs in Mexico.
Morrugares and his wife had survived a previous attack in 2016, and he was subsequently give a police escort.
Morrugares was the fifth journalist to be killed in Mexico this year. More than 140 journalists have been killed in Mexico over the past 20 years.