An unidentified man shot González, editor of the news website OjinagaNoticias, as he ate at a taco stand in the town of Ojinaga, on the border of Texas, Carlos González, a spokesman for the state Attorney General's office, told CPJ. González said the journalist's camera was taken but that authorities did not consider theft to be the motive.
The news site reported that González was with a female companion when he was killed. The attorney general's office said the journalist had been speaking to the female owner of the stand.
OjinagaNoticias covered community events, local sports, crime, and politics, but none of its recent reports clearly pointed to a motive for Gonzalez's murder. Local journalists have told CPJ that they can be unaware that their articles have somehow crossed the crime cartels; sometimes, the mere inclusion of a name can spark a reprisal, they said. Ojinaga is in the state of Chihuahua, which is controlled in large measure by organized crime groups. According to journalists in the state, La Linea is considered the pre-eminent crime group in Ojinaga.
González had worked for several years as a reporter for the local weekly Contacto, but quit after he received threats, according to a local reporter who spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of reprisal. The reporter said he did not know the details of the threats.
In an email to CPJ, a man who identified himself as González's partner for the website said that OjinagaNoticias would close for fear of future attacks. "I don't want problems. Really, I feel very afraid because of what happened," he wrote. He, too, asked for anonymity.