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Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 16 December 2018

Rare arrest in Mexico journalist killings

Miroslava Breach, 54, was among at least 11 journalists killed in Mexico this year, and more than 100 who have lost their lives since 2000

In this May 16, 2017 photo, a woman places a candle in front of pictures of murdered journalists Miroslava Breach and Javier Valdez during a demonstration against the killing of journalists outside the interior ministry in Mexico City. Rebecca Blackwell / AP
In this May 16, 2017 photo, a woman places a candle in front of pictures of murdered journalists Miroslava Breach and Javier Valdez during a demonstration against the killing of journalists outside the interior ministry in Mexico City. Rebecca Blackwell / AP

Mexican authorities on Monday said they arrested the person behind the murder of a journalist who wrote about the country's drug war, one of the few such media killings to be solved.

Miroslava Breach, 54, was among at least 11 journalists killed in Mexico this year, and more than 100 who have lost their lives since 2000.

Ninety per cent of those cases remain unsolved.

But authorities on Monday detained Juan Carlos Moreno Ochoa, the "intellectual author" of Breach's killing, said Javier Corral, governor of the northern state of Chihuahua, where Breach was murdered in March.

The state's attorney general, Cesar Augusto Peniche, told the Reforma newspaper that the man arrested is allegedly a member of the "Los Salazar" criminal organisation.

Another man, Ramon Zavala, wanted for allegedly being the gunman who actually shot Breach, was himself killed on Friday by unidentified assailants.

Read more: Sixty-five journalists and media workers killed globally this year, RSF says

Breach, a veteran crime and politics reporter for the newspapers La Jornada and Norte de Juarez, was found dead inside her car with gunshot wounds to the head on March 23 in Chihuahua.

One of her last stories was on a war between two rival capos in the Juarez drug cartel.

After Syria, Mexico is the world's most dangerous country for journalists, according to the Reporters Without Borders (RSF) watchdog.