Mexican drug cartel leader sentenced for journo's murder

IANS File Photo
IANS File Photo

MEXICO CITY, AUGUST 23 (IANS): A federal judge in the Mexican state of Chihuahua has sentenced an organized crime leader to 50 years in prison for the murder of journalist Miroslava Breach, the Attorney General's Office (FGR) said.

This is "the highest penalty to date and represents a precedent in investigations of crimes committed against freedom of expression", Xinhua news agency quoted the FGR as saying in a statement on Saturday.

Juan Carlos Moreno, nicknamed "El Larry," was convicted in March for the 2017 murder of Breach, a correspondent for the Mexican newspaper La Jornada, who had been reporting on the cartel leader and his alleged criminal activities.

His sentencing was delayed several months due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The government of Chihuahua has identified Moreno as the head of Los Salazar, a drug trafficking group that operates along the border with the US.

Breach, 54, was murdered on March 23, 2017 as she was leaving her home.

She was one of six journalists killed in Mexico in that year.