Reputed gang leader, reporter, 4 others killed in Mexico

Five gunmen burst into a bar early Thursday and killed a reputed drug gang boss, a reporter and four other people in Mexico’s Gulf coast state of Veracruz, authorities said.

The Veracruz state prosecutors’ office said the gunmen entered the bar and went directly for the victims, who included the local boss of the Zetas drug gang, identified as Jose Marquez Balderas.

The office said some of the victims had weapons with them.

The dead also included journalist Juan Santos Cabrera. The office did not identify who he worked for, but local media said he had been employed by the Veracruz affiliate of a television network. It was unclear if he was still working in the media.

The office said two other reporters were present at the bar, but were not targeted in the attack and are under government protection.

Police chased the assailants, and two officers were wounded in an ensuing exchange of gunfire, but there were no immediate arrests.

Veracruz, a state riven by corruption, crime and turf battle between drug gangs, has been a notoriously dangerous state for journalists.

Photographer Ruben Espinosa, who had fled Veracruz in July after being intimidated and harassed, was killed at a Mexico City apartment along with four other people in July.

Veracruz has seen 13 journalists killed in the state since Gov. Javier Duarte took office in 2010. Three more have gone missing.

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