One of the murderers of acclaimed journalist and AFP contributor Javier Valdez Cardenas was sentenced Thursday to 14 years and eight months in prison by a Mexican court.
Heriberto Picos Barraza, nicknamed “El Koala”, was one of the perpetrators of the crime committed in the northwestern city of Cualiacan in May 2017, according to the prosecution.
He had served as a driver for two men, Juan Francisco Picos Barrueto and Luis Idelfonso Sanchez, who shot Valdez outside his office.
A co-founder of the weekly newspaper Riodoce, Valdez, 50, was one of the most prominent chroniclers of Mexico’s deadly drug war in a state where notorious kingpin Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman once reigned.
The public prosecutor’s office ordered the accused to pay 9 million pesos (around 420,000 euros, $460,000) to the journalist’s family.
The sum will be covered by the Executive Commission for Victim Assistance (CEAV), a branch of the interior ministry.
The prosecution argued that the assassination was ordered by Damaso Lopez Serrano, the son of a drug trafficker, who was furious at having been criticized in an article by Riodoce.
Lopez Serrano, who allegedly paid 100,000 pesos for the killing and supplied the weapons, has always denied the claims.
Juan Francisco Picos Barrueto, having refused to plead guilty in exchange for a sentence of 20 years and eight months in prison, will be tried in March as the main perpetrator.
The murder in one of the deadliest countries for members of the press sparked international condemnation.
BUSTED: Cops fired for framing Stormy Daniels reportedly arrested on federal corruption charges
On Tuesday, the Scioto Valley Guardian reported that two former Columbus police officers for the vice unit have been arrested on a number of federal charges.
Ex-Officers Steven Rosser and Whitney Lancaster are the same officers who allegedly conspired to frame porn star Stormy Daniels, who became a national name after suing to get out of a nondisclosure agreement negotiated by President Donald Trump's former attorney Michael Cohen to bury the story of Trump's sexual affair with her.
Authorities searching for spring breakers who flew from Cabo on private plane with 28 COVID-19 victims
Texas authorities are on the lookout for a group of spring breakers who returned from Cabo San Lucas testing positive for the coronavirus.
According to Alyssa Goard at KXAN News, public health officials announced Tuesday that about a week and a half ago, about 70 students in their 20's flew back to the United States on a chartered plane while others used commercial flights. There are 28 youth from the trip who have tested positive for COVID-19.
"Austin Public Health and UT Health Austin and University Health Services have made contact with every spring breaker onboard the plane using flight manifest from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The 28 confirmed cases are self-isolating at this time. Others are under quarantine while being monitored and tested. The Department of State Health Services has been notified.
Trump’s schedule is empty because he’s spending his days chatting with titans of industry, world leaders, and celebrities
President Donald Trump isn't jetting off aboard Air Force One every few days to preside over MAGA and KAG campaign rallies anymore, now that his pandemic is keeping much of the nation – including the president – at home. World leaders have stopped calling – at least in person – so his televised Oval Office diatribes have come to an end, at least temporarily.
Trump's calendar has been looking pretty empty these days (not a dramatic change from pre-pandemic days.)
Here's Trump's public schedule for tomorrow. (Public schedules don't include all of a president's activities.) pic.twitter.com/dst1Nybqbg