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Mexican journalist, family slain in Veracruz home

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Mexican journalist, family slain in Veracruz home

Killings come 3 weeks after murder of another journalist in Gulf city

Prominent Mexican journalist Miguel Angel Lopez Velasco, his wife and son were shot to death inside their home in the Gulf coast city of Veracruz on Monday, state officials announced.

Lopez Velasco, known as Milo Vela, wrote a political and crime column and was editorial director for the daily Notiver, reports the Associated Press. His son, 21, worked as the newspaper's photographer.

Gunmen broke into the family's home in the Playa Linda section of Veracruz around 6 a.m. and killed Lopez Velasco, 55, and his family, Fox News reports.

Veracruz state prosecutor Jorge Yunis told the AP they were killed with a 9 mm handgun. Police said a motive has not yet been determined.

The newspaper the father and son worked for called on the police to complete the investigation.

"Notiver demands a quick and clear investigation that follows the law to immediately find those responsible for this triple-murder and punish them with the full weight of the law, regardless of who goes down," the newspaper reportedly announced in a statement.

The killing comes threes week after another journalist from Veracruz was killed by gunmen, the Miami Herald reports. Two gunmen snatched Noel Lopez Olguin, killed him and left him in a shallow grave. A drug gang leader confessed to the murder.

Journalists have increasingly come under threat while working in Mexico. They have come under fire for reporting on the country's violent drug trade and activities of rival drug cartels.

Mexico's National Human Rights Commission estimates that 68 journalists have been killed and 13 have gone missing in Mexico since 2000.

Reporters Without Borders highlighted Mexico and Honduras in their 2010 report as a country “especially serious cases...where violence led to dozens of deaths, arrests, kidnappings, and threats of all kinds against press freedom.”

"We are shocked by the vicious killing of journalist Miguel Angel Lopez Velasco, his wife, and son, and call on Mexican authorities to fully investigate and effectively prosecute all those responsible for this crime," Carlos Lauría of the Committee to Protect Journalists said in a press release. "The Mexican government must put an end to this endless wave of violence that is eroding the democratic system."

This article originally appeared on GlobalPost.

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