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Scene of the Juárez shooting of a reporter. Scene of the Juárez shooting of a reporter.

National Geographic reporter wounded during drug dealer interview

Rival gang attacks during interview in Ciudad Juárez

A National Geographic reporter from the United States was shot in the leg on Friday while interviewing drug dealers in Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua.

The state Attorney General’s Office (FGE) said in a statement that the attack occurred at about 7:30pm at a house in the Valle de Los Olivos residential development that was used to sell drugs.

The unnamed journalist was taken to hospital in Juárez but was discharged on Saturday morning and left the Mexican border city the same day for El Paso, Texas, with three colleagues who were also present when the attack occurred.

Jorge Nava, attorney general for the northern region of Chihuahua, said that two members of Los Aztecas, an armed wing of the Juárez Cartel, were also shot by members of a rival gang while speaking on camera to the reporter.

One of the men died at the scene of the crime while the other succumbed to his injuries in hospital.

Members of the National Geographic team told police that they heard two women speaking outside the house after which two armed men broke in and started shooting at the Los Aztecas drug dealers, who returned fire. The reporter was caught in the crossfire.

Nava said that the team arrived in Ciudad Juárez a week before the attack to film a documentary about how violence has changed in the city during the past 10 years.

They sought statistical information from the Attorney General’s Office before arranging the “obviously risky” interview at the address where the attack occurred, he said. The team didn’t ask authorities for protection while working in the city, Nava said.

The attorney general said the house had previously been searched because it was the scene of a double homicide in April.

Nava added that footage from security cameras located in the surrounding area, and that recorded by the National Geographic team, will be reviewed as part of the investigation into Friday’s attack. Police have not made any arrests.

Mexico is the most dangerous country for journalists in the western hemisphere, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists. Five have been killed in the country in 2019.

Source: El Financiero (sp) 

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