US & World

Shooting wounds Mexican journalist; 2nd attack in 2 days

VERACRUZ, Mexico (AP) - A reporter in Mexico's Gulf coast state of Veracruz was reported in serious condition after being shot outside his home early Wednesday in a region plagued by drug cartel violence. It adds to a string of attacks on reporters in a country considered one of the most dangerous places to practice journalism

The president of the state commission for the protection of journalists, Ana Laura Perez, said a bullet punctured the lung of Armando Arrieta Granados, who worked as the news editor for the newspaper La Opinion de Poza Rica.

It was the second shooting attack on a journalist in two days in Mexico. A bodyguard protecting a threatened journalist was shot to death on Tuesday in the Baja California resort of San Jose del Cabo.

Journalist Julio Omar Gomez was not wounded in that attack at his home. But his bodyguard was reportedly shot when he tried to repel the attack.

Gomez previously ran an internet news site, and currently works for the city press department. He had been the apparent target of two previous attacks on his home, and the government had supplied bodyguards to protect him.

Wednesday's shooting also was the fifth attack on journalists this month; the previous three were fatal.

La Jornada newspaper reporter Miroslava Breach was shot to death on March 23 outside her home in the northern city of Chihuahua.

Newspaper columnist Ricardo Monlui was killed on March 19 in another part of Veracruz. On March 2, Cecilio Pineda Birto, a freelancer, was slain in southern Guerrero state.

Sara Irene Herrerias, Mexico's assistant attorney general for human rights, said federal authorities "are very upset about what is going on."

Speaking on Tuesday after the attack on Gomez, but before Arrieta Granados was shot, Herrerias said "the degree of violence is something that concerns us and I know that the biggest thing is to have some kind of response, so that impunity doesn't prevail."

So far, there is no evidence that the various attacks are directly connected.

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AP writer Maria Versa contributed to this report.

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