[OKAY, I GET IT, THE DAILY MAIL, BUT I'M FINDING SOME GOOD REPORTING OUT OF THE UK. THEY HAVE PEOPLE ON THE GROUND KEEPING UP WITH THEIR SENSATIONAL RAGS. MAYBE JUSTICE FOR MARIA. ACCUSED ARE A NEWSPAPER REPORTER AND A COUNCILMAN FROM VERA CRUZ]
Newspaper journalist and councilman are arrested in connection with the assassination of a reporter who was gunned down in the street in Mexico
On Saturday, cops in Veracruz, Mexico, arrested José Cardenas and Efraín Rivera in connection to the March 30 assassination of journalist María Elena Ferral
At least three more individuals were apprehended Monday following a shootout in Veracruz municipality of Papantla
Ferral was shot five times by two gunmen aboard a motorcycle outside a building where she and Cardenas attended a meeting at a notary office March 31
Cardenas has written for La Opinión de Poza Riza and digital news outlet Al Calor Político de Xalapa
Rivera is a councilman in the Veracruz municipality of Papantla
Ferral is the 12th journalist murdered in Mexico since President Andrés Manuel López Obrador entered office in December 2018
There were 10 journalists assassinated in Mexico in 2019
Authorities have arrested a newspaper correspondent and councilman linked to last month's murder of a journalist in Mexico.
María Elena Ferral was shot multiples times after leaving a notary's office in Papantla, a city in the Gulf coast state of Veracruz on March 30.
José Cardenas, who has written for La Opinión de Poza Riza and digital news outlet Al Calor Político de Xalapa, and Efraín Rivera, a member of the Papantla city council, were apprehended in separate operations Saturday.
Cops also arrested at least three more individuals connected to Ferral's murder following a shootout Monday.
It's unknown what charges Cardenas, Rivera and the other individuals may face.
According to Mexican news outlet La Silla Rota, Ferral, Cardenas and another reporter attended a meeting with Donanciano Cobos, the owner of the notary office, minutes prior to the attack.
She was rushed to a Papantla Regional Hospital and underwent surgery to remove the bullet fragments.
She was then transferred to Poca Riza Regional Hospital and placed in the intensive care unit before she was pronounced dead that night.
On March 31, Cardenas attended the funeral service for Ferral, whom he knew for about 15 years.
He shared on his Facebook page a photo of himself and another woman standing next to Ferral's coffin.
'I never thought it would be the last time [I would see you],' Cardenas wrote.
Cardenas recalled joking with Ferral at the meeting over her formal work attire that day because he was used to seeing her wearing jeans and sneakers along with a reporter's vest.
'About fifty minutes later I receive a message from about an injured person on Mina Street, I came in running in a hurry looking for a photo because our work asks for it, but I was not prepared for what followed,' he added.
Multiple videos posted by Mexican news outlets showed Cardenas in handcuffs at a local precinct as he proclaimed his innocence while several voices in the background shouted that they were there to support him.
Cardenas is due back in court May 1. Both he and Rivera remained in custody.
[DRAMATIC TURN OF EVENTS, WHEN YOU ARE ACCUSED OF MURDERING YOUR FELLOW WORKMATE. A COUNCILMAN? ANYWAY, SOMEONE KNEW SHE WAS GOING TO BE AT THE NOTARY OFFICE, IN ORDER TO MURDER HER OUTSIDE THE DOOR]. End of Part 2, Part 3, next:
Ferral was based out of the municipality of Papantla, where she reported on crime, local news and politics for El Diario de Xalapa newspaper, co-founded El Quinto Poder, a digital news site, and wrote on a personal Facebook page, La Polaca Totonaca.
Mexican news radio station Radio Reforma reported that Ferral had sent three emails in 2017, 2017 and 2018 to a journalist, whom she trusted, and said that if anything was to happen to her,local politician Camerino Basilio Picazo Pérez would be held liable.
'If I am assassinated, I want the politician Camerino Basilio Picazo Pérez to be held responsible for the crime,' wrote Ferral, who in the past had been harassed and threatened.
Picazo Pérez had been eyed - but never charged - for the May 2005 assassination of Miguel Alfonso Vázquez, a former trustee of the Coyutla city council. Family members then told authorities Picazo Pérez had threatened to kill Vázquez due to political disagreements the pair had.
Ferral also wrote that Picazo Pérez has received 'favorable treatment' from former governor Fidel Herrera Beltrán during the investigation, which included the removal of a search warrant.
According to Reporters Without Borders, 12 journalists have been killed in Mexico - including 10 last year - after President Andrés Manuel López Obrador entered office in 2018.
[AN INTRIGUING STORY FOR SURE. A LOT OF TENSION BEFORE THE ASSASSINATION. A CLEAR MESSAGE GIVEN BY THE VICTIM BUT NOT THE ACCUSED. PUBLICITY PICS AT THE FUNERAL, DENIAL AND NEW CHARACTERS. THIS WILL BE WORTH WATCHING. DRAMA, MYSTERY, THRILLER, THIS HAS IT ALL]