Federal police arrested a man early Monday suspected of planning and helping carry out the March murder of Miroslava Breach, one of the highest-profile journalists slain this year amid a wave of such killings in Mexico.
The National Security Commission said in a statement that the 43-year-old suspect was detained along with two others in a morning operation in the town of Bacobampo, Sonora state.
It identified him as the presumed head of a criminal gang with a strong presence in parts of Sonora and Chihuahua states.
In a video address, Chihuahua Gov. Javier Corral said the suspect was one of “the presumed material authors of the killing, and the main leader of the planning and execution of Miroslava’s death.”
He added that a suspected trigger-man in the murder was himself killed Dec. 19 in Sonora and that authorities were still searching for other suspects.
Breach, 54, was a respected correspondent for the national newspaper La Jornada and also contributed to other papers in the cities of Chihuahua and Juarez. She was shot eight times outside her garage in Chihuahua city the morning of March 23.
A rolled-up cardboard message was reportedly left at the scene that said “for being a tattletale.”
Corral called Breach a “great friend” whose journalism exposed corrupt links between organized crime, politics and security forces in the state.
“That led to her murder, which still saddens us,” Corral said.
At least 10 journalists have been murdered this year in the country, one of the world’s deadliest for the profession.