Mexico City says extortion gang tried to kill reporter

MEXICO CITY (AP) — Mexico City police said Wednesday an extortion and drug-dealing gang was behind the Dec. 15 shooting attack on one of Mexico’s best-known journalists.

Police Chief Omar Garcia Harfuch said 11 people had been detained in connection with the attack on a vehicle driven by journalist Ciro Gómez Leyva.

The little-known gang dealt in murder, extorting money from businessmen and street-level drug dealing on the city's rough east side.

Officials did not explain why such a small-time gang tried to kill one of Mexico’s most prominent journalists.

Gómez Leyva escaped shaken but unharmed, after two gunmen on a motorcycle tried to kill him in a late-night attack on a Mexico City street. He was saved by his SUV having bullet-proofing.

In raids and searches that led to the detentions, police found a cap with the letters CJNG, the initials of the hyper-violent Jalisco New Generation Cartel.

But Garcia Harfuch said that did not necessarily mean the cartel was involved.

“It is very frequent in Mexico City for criminal gangs to use names — Sinaloa Cartel, Jalisco Cartel — just to communicate a link with them, without meaning they are part” of the cartels, he said. “As in other arrests and searches, they have the initials of any number of cartels.”

A top lieutenant of the Jalisco cartel threatened another journalist earlier in 2022, which was the deadliest year in at least three decades for Mexican journalists and media workers, with 15 slayings.