Veracruz Mexico

Veracruz, shown by the pin, has suffered a spate of drug-related killings in recent years

The murder of Mexican crime reporter Yolanda Ordaz was not related to her work as a journalist, local authorities have claimed.

The body of Ordaz, who worked for regional newspaper Notiver, was discovered yesterday afternoon behind the offices of another local newspaper. She had been missing since Sunday.

At the time of her disappearance Ordaz was reportedly investigating the murder of two other Notiver journalists in June, columnist Miguel Ángel López Velasco and his son Misael López Solana, a photographer for the paper, who were shot in their home alongside López's wife Agustina.

IPS news agency reports that she received threats before going missing telling her she would be targeted if she did not drop the case.

However, local authorities issued a statement denying that Ordaz's murder is related to her work as a journalist, claiming instead that there are indications that the killing is linked to organised crime. State attorney general Reynaldo Escobar Pérez said this was now one of the principle lines of investigation in the case.

According to an AP report, Escobar said separately that a note found by her body read "Friends also betray. Sincerely, Carranza."

The note may tie the killing to the chief suspect in the López case, who was identified as former traffic police officer Juan Carlos Carranza. Escobar last month announced a $300,000 peso ($25,000) reward for Carranza's capture.

According to figures from the Committee to Protect Journalists, the discovery takes the death toll on Mexico's journalists since 2010 to 14. Four of these killings have been confirmed as work-related by the CPJ and the rest are under investigation.

The CPJ puts the total number of deaths in the country since 2000 at 48, but Reporters Without Borders and Mexico's National Commission on Human Rights both put the total at 71, with a further 13 missing.

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