A Mexican journalist was shot dead by unknown gunmen in a northern municipality of Monterrey, officials said on Saturday, becoming the first reporter to be killed in the country in 2012.
The killing of Raul Quirino Garza, 30, on Friday came just one day after the Vienna-based press watchdog IPI named Mexico as the world's deadliest place for journalists to work -- 10 were killed in the nation in 2011.
Quirino Garza, who worked for The Last Word local newspaper, came under fire while driving his car in the Cadereyta municipality, an intelligence official told reporters on condition of anonymity.
Although the emergency services were called it was not possible to save the journalist's life, the Agencia Estadal de Investigaciones official said, noting that 15 bullet casings from high caliber weapons were found at the scene.
A total of 103 journalists were killed in 2011, IPI said on Thursday, the second highest toll on record after 2009, when 110 journalists lost their lives while covering stories.
The deaths of 12,000 Mexicans in 2011 were attributed to violence caused by drug trading and 50,000 are said to have been killed since 2006, when President Felipe Calderon launched a crackdown on cartels blamed for the slaughter.