CIUDAD JUAREZ, Mexico (AP) — A crime reporter in the violent Mexican border city of Juarez was killed Thursday, adding to dozens of journalist deaths in a country where newspapers are so fearful, many refuse to cover drug violence.
Armando Rodriguez had covered crime for 10 years in Ciudad Juarez, working for El Diario newspaper. He was shot several times as he sat warming up his car outside his home.
A special federal prosecutor in charge of journalist killings will investigate.
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With Rodriguez's death, 24 journalists have been killed in Mexico since 2000 — at least seven of them in direct reprisal for their reports on crime — and seven others have disappeared since 2005, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists.
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Corruption is widespread, reaching as high as the federal Attorney General's office, and the drug gangs often control more than the drug trade, extorting money from business leaders and even teachers.
On Wednesday, an anonymous banner appeared at the door of a public Ciudad Juarez kindergarten, threatening to attack the school's children if the teachers don't hand over their Christmas bonuses.
Classes were immediately suspended as police decided what security measures to take.
Also Thursday, state police said at least one gunshot was fired outside the U.S. Consulate in the northern city of Monterrey, the third attack on the building in less than two months.
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In separate incidents last month, an unexploded grenade was tossed at the consulate and gunshots were fired, prompting officials to suspend visa services.