Mexican News Outlet Owner Charged in Alleged Kidnapping of Rival Journalist

Members of the Army patrol the surroundings of the Puente Grande State prison in Zapotlane
File Photo: HECTOR GUERRERO/AFP/Getty Images

The owner of a Mexican news outlet remains behind bars awaiting trial for her alleged role in the kidnapping by cartel gunmen of a journalist from another outlet.

This week, Mexican authorities announced the arrest of Ivohone (also spelled Ivone) Patricia Herrera Valera, the owner of the news outlet Vanguardia Veracruz, for being the alleged mastermind behind the kidnapping of Ricardo Villanueva Ake, a journalist with the online news outlet Presente Veracruz.

The arrest took place last month in the Mexican state of Hidalgo, where Ivone Patricia “N” had been visiting, said the Attorney General for Hidalgo, Santiago Nieto. Authorities in Mexico also arrested Julio Cesar “N” in September, who covered crime for Vanguardia. He is currently facing the same charges as his boss.

The alleged kidnapping took place in April in the city of Poza Rica, Veracruz, when a group of gunmen reportedly took Villanueva, beat him, and then forced him to record a video where he claimed to have been working with organized crime, Infobae reported. One day later, state and federal authorities rescued Villanueva.

According to Infobae, Vanguardia Veracruz was a print newspaper that switched to an online-only format by the late owner Eugenio Gomez Lemus. Authorities previously arrested Gregorio Gomez Martinez, a local politician in Veracruz, half-brother of Gomez Lemus and co-owner of Vanguardia. At the time, the politician faced several charges tied to drug trafficking and weapons possession. After the passing of Gomez Lemus in 2021, his wife, Ivone Patricia, took over the publication.

As Breitbart Texas reported, several press freedom organizations label Mexico as one of the deadliest countries for journalists. The state of Veracruz is currently one of the top regions with the most attacks and killings of journalists by criminal organizations and politicians.

Ildefonso Ortiz is an award-winning journalist with Breitbart Texas. He co-founded Breitbart Texas’ Cartel Chronicles project with Brandon Darby and senior Breitbart management. You can follow him on Twitter and on Facebook. He can be contacted at

Brandon Darby is the managing director and editor-in-chief of Breitbart Texas. He co-founded Breitbart Texas’ Cartel Chronicles project with Ildefonso Ortiz and senior Breitbart management. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook. He can be contacted at     


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