CHIHUAHUA, Mexico – A former Televisa reporter and her friend were gunned down in the northern Mexican city of Chihuahua, officials said on Sunday.
The bodies of Maria Isabella Cordero, 23, and her 22-year-old friend were found inside an automobile late Thursday.
Cordero was working as director of public relations for the National Chamber of Commerce, or Canaco.
Bullet casings from assault rifles were found at the crime scene, but the motive for the killings has not been determined, the officials said.
Cordero was the sixth journalist killed this year in Mexico, where 12 journalists were murdered in 2009.
Two other members of the media are listed as missing in Mexico, considered one of the most dangerous countries in the world for journalists.
Journalists have protested against the attacks and the lack of prosecutions in the cases.
Since 2000, more than 60 journalists have been murdered in Mexico, with 10 others reported missing since 2003, Reporters Without Borders said in a recent report.
Chihuahua state, which borders the United States, is the most violent state in Mexico.
Nearly one-third of the more than 22,750 murders registered in Mexico since December 2006, when President Felipe Calderon launched his war on the country’s drug cartels, have occurred in the state.
Earlier this month, the body of Enrique Villicaña, a political commentator and former Michoacan state official who had been kidnapped, was found.
The journalist’s body was found April 10 in a street in Morelia, the capital of Michoacan, a spokesman for the state Attorney General’s Office said.
Villicaña, who worked as a columnist for the La Voz de Michoacan newspaper, had been kidnapped on April 5.
The journalist, a former secretary-general of Universidad Michoacana de San Nicolas de Hidalgo and former director of the Sistema Michoacano de Radio y Television, was stabbed to death.
Reporters Without Borders condemned Villicaña’s killing in a statement.
The Michoacan State Human Rights Commission, meanwhile, is investigating the recent disappearance of Ramon Angeles Zalpa, who worked as a correspondent for the daily Cambio in Paracho.
Angeles left his house around noon on April 6 in his car “for the local campus of the Universidad Pedagogica Nacional, where he is a professor,” and his family filed a missing persons report with prosecutors, the Michoacan Attorney General’s office said.