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Journalist Juan Carlos Huerta murdered in Tabasco

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Translated by El Profe for Borderland Beat from Proceso

               El periodista Juan Carlos Huerta fue asesinado el 15 de mayo. Foto: Tomada de Facebook
At least the fourth journalist murdered this year in Mexico, his death occurred on the 1st anniversary of the murder of journalist Javier Valdez Cárdenas

Sicario killed journalist Juan Carlos Huerta with a .45 caliber weapon: Tabasco Prosecutor’s Office 

By Armando Guzmán

VILLAHERMOSA, Tab. – Attorney General Fernando Valenzuela Pernas offered details on Tuesday about the murder of the journalist and radio and television news host, Juan Carlos Huerta Gutiérrez.

The head of the FGE explained that, according to witnesses, a gray van caught up with Huerta, blocked him off and hit the front bumper on the left side of the BMW that the victim was driving. A man then descended from the van, shot and killed the radio host, and fled with one or more companions.

He also said that news was received at the C-4 police command control center at 10:47 am, about a homicide on Flor del Trópico street, next to the Las Hadas subdivision, on the outskirts of Villahermosa, where elements of the Secretariat of Public Security (SSP) responded to and later experts and investigative police of the FGE.

The journalist’s body was left on the driver’s seat of the four-door gray BMV with the engine off, the glass of the driver’s door shattered, and covered with the mats of the vehicle itself.

At the scene of the crime, two caliber .45 calipers were located, and investigations were immediately started in the surrounding areas to identify entrances and exits of the probable perpetrators.

The victim’s vehicle was taken to forensic services for criminology tests and traces, while in the C-4, videos were analyzed to try and identify the criminals.

Likewise, the protection mechanism for journalists was activated before the head of the Office of the Prosecutor for the Attention of Crimes Committed against Freedom of Expression (FEADLE), attached to the Attorney General’s Office (PGR), Ricardo Sánchez Pérez del Pozo, for which in the course of the evening, the arrival of a director and two prosecutors of the MP of the FEADLE were expected.

Protection measures were also provided to family members of the radio host.

Accompanied by Jorge Alberto Aguirre Carbajal, head of the SSP, Valenzuela Pernas lamented the murder of Juan Carlos Huerta who, he said, mourned not only the journalistic profession, but also its radio listeners and viewers, as well as society in general.

He then stressed that the state government is committed to the clarification of the facts and will be asked for those responsible the highest penalties allowed by the Criminal Code in Tabasco (140 years).

Alleged arrests

After midday, photos of two men detained with a pistol were broadcast on social networks who could be related to the execution of the journalist, however, in the press conference, where no questions were accepted, the prosecutor Valenzuela Pernas did not mention that information.

Neither did he mention the woman standing next to the BMV and who, according to unconfirmed reports, was accompanying Juan Carlos Huerta, or who may have altered the crime scene by placing the mats to cover the broken glass on the driver side and thereby covering the body of the radio host.

The six candidates for the governorship (Adán Augusto López, Gerardo Gaudiano, Georgina Trujillo, Oscar Cantón, Jesús Alí and Manuel Paz Ojeda), as well as the journalistic and business associations and society in general repudiated the murder of the host and demanded prompt clarification of the crime.

Juan Carlos Huerta had more than 20 years of hosting the radio news program Panorama sin Reservas at noon from Monday to Friday, first on ACIR radio and since last January at his own station “620 AM Sin Reservas,” which he acquired in the last year.

Also, for 14 years, he was the star host of the nightly news program “Notinueve” on local television channel 9, a subsidiary of Televisa.

He is the fourth journalist killed in Mexico in 2018, the 43rd in the administration of Enrique Peña Nieto and 116th since 2000.

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