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Mexican crime journalist killed in home invasion

The murder of Mexican crime journalist Miguel Angel Lopez Velasco and his family in Veracruz is just the latest in a rash of violence against reporters in Mexico this month.

Miguel Angel Lopez Velasco, a crime editor for the Notiver newspaper in Veracruz, was gunned down in his home, along with his wife and son, early Monday. At left, a cameraman stands next to police vehicles parked outside Mr. Lopez Velasco's home in Veracruz, Mexico, Monday, June 20, 2011.

Felix Marquez/fotojarocha.com/AP

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Assailants early Monday burst into the home of the deputy editor of a newspaper in the major port of Veracruz, gunning down the 55-year-old journalist, his wife, and his son.

The executions were the latest in a particularly grim month for Mexican journalists, bolstering Mexico's status as the most murderous place in the hemisphere to work in the media.

The Notiver newspaper in Veracruz where Miguel Angel Lopez Velasco worked as deputy editor, columnist and crime reporter said the gunmen smashed through the front door of the Lopez home with a heavy object around 5:30 a.m., then entered the bedrooms to execute the occupants. Also killed were Mr. Lopez's 21-year-old son, Misael, and his wife, Agustina Solano.

The slayings reverberated far beyond journalistic circles.

Veracruz Governor Javier Duarte de Ochoa said the slaying was a reflection of "the rise of criminality across the country," and pledged to apply "the full weight of the law" against anyone linked to the killing.

Authorities announced no immediate arrests.

Veracruz, the nation's oldest and largest port, straddles a key corridor along the Gulf of Mexico coast for criminal groups that traffic in undocumented aliens and narcotics.

The pace of attacks against journalists is quickening in Mexico.

Monday's killing came just three weeks after authorities found the body of another Veracruz journalist, Noel Lopez Olguin, in a shallow grave on a ranch near Chinameca. Two gunmen snatched Mr. Lopez Olguin, a collaborator for the weeklies Horizonte and Noticias de Acayucan, from his home in March.

The Mexican army said a drug gang leader who'd been arrested confessed to the killing and led soldiers to the shallow grave.

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