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Man arrested in Mexico carrying slain newspaper worker's ID

By the CNN Wire Staff
updated 12:28 PM EDT, Mon August 13, 2012
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • The search of a car finds Irasema Becerra's ID cards
  • Her body and those of three journalists were found in May in a drainage ditch in Veracruz
  • They had been tortured and dismembered, officials say
  • Becerra worked in a newspaper's sales department

Mexico City (CNN) -- A presumed member of the Jalisco Nueva Generacion cartel has been arrested in Veracruz, Mexico, carrying identification cards belonging to a newspaper administrator who was killed in May, the Mexican military said Monday.

The arrest of Juan Carlos Hernandez Pulido, also known as La Bertha, occurred as a result of a tip from an informant who told authorities someone in a car appeared to be sharing drugs, the navy said in a statement.

When troops approached the car, everyone who had been around it fled, leaving the driver alone, with navy personnel blocking the car, it said.

A search of the car found the credentials belonging to Irasema Becerra, two grenades and nearly 200 packets of what appeared to be drugs -- including cocaine and marijuana, it said.

Becerra's dismembered body was found on May 3 in a canal in the city of Boca del Rio next to those of photographers Gabriel Huge, Guillermo Luna and Esteban Rodríguez.

The bodies were inside plastic bags, and the victims appeared to have been tortured, authorities said.

Becerra, who worked for the sales department of the newspaper El Dictamen, was Luna's girlfriend.

Authorities said the killings appeared to have been the work of organized crime.

During the current administration, which began in 2010, nine journalists have been killed in Veracruz state, CNNMexico reported.

In its report on a survey of political rights and civil liberties, "Freedom of the Press 2012," Freedom House described Mexico as "not free."

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