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Gunmen Kill Crusading Editor in Mexico

June 23, 2004

TIJUANA, Mexico (AP) _ Gunmen ambushed and killed a deputy director of a crusading Mexican newspaper Tuesday, the state attorney general’s office.

Baja California officials said that Francisco Ortiz Franco was with his children at the time, but they were unharmed.

The weekly, Zeta, has gained attention for its reporting on the influence of drug traffickers in Tijuana, home to several notorious narcotics operations. It had no immediate comment on the killing.

In Mexico City, federal Attorney General Ramon Macedo de la Concha said he no firm details yet about the incident, but ``If we have evidence that it deals with organized crime, we will take over the case.″

The newspaper’s co-founder Hector Felix Miranda was ambushed and killed on April 20, 1988. Two men were convicted in the shooting.

In 1997, the newspaper’s publisher, Jesus Blancornelas, was badly wounded in a gangland-style attack that killed his bodyguard and driver.

Shortly before he was shot, Blancornelas had written a column linking the Arellano Felix drug gang for a machine-gun slaying of two federal agents outside a Tijuana courthouse.

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