MEXICO CITY – The murder of Luciano Rivera was the result of an argument with other patrons at a bar in Rosarito, a beach town in the Mexican state of Baja California, and was not related to his work as a television news reporter, state prosecutors said on Tuesday.
“As of now, we have no information that could make us presume that the incidents were a consequence of the victim’s journalistic activities,” prosecutor Patricia Ortega, who is responsible for the Rosarito area, told Milenio Television.
Rivera never filed a complaint with the Baja California Attorney General’s Office regarding any threats related to his work, Ortega said.
The AG’s office’s files contain no “records of threats, complaints or investigative files,” the prosecutor said.
Rivera, a reporter and anchorman who worked for CNR Noticias Channel 54, was killed at 1:40 am Monday inside the Bar La Antigua.
A suspect has been arrested in connection with the killing of Rivera, who also served as editor of Dictamen magazine, Ortega said.
Investigators seized a firearm from the suspect, the state prosecutor said.
“We know that the victim was inside a popular bar in this town and was chatting with some female companions. We still can’t say why (the homicide) happened because we are still taking statements from witnesses,” Ortega said.
The prosecutor, however, said that “there was apparently some kind of argument over disrespect being shown to one of the companions.”
One of the five individuals who had arrived together and supposedly bothered one of the women then opened fire on Rivera, causing “a (gunshot) wound in the nose that had its exit in the back of his head, which is what killed him,” Ortega said.
Investigators have taken statements from eyewitnesses, reviewed security camera video, gathered crime-scene evidence and analyzed the gun to determine whether it was registered or had previously been used to commit a crime.
While it appears that Rivera was not killed because of his work, Mexico remains one of the most dangerous countries in the world for journalists.
Rivera’s death brings to nine the number of journalists slain this year in Mexico.