Mexico - Another journalist abducted in Veracruz media hell

by Reporters Without Borders | Reporters Without Borders
Thursday, 6 February 2014 04:08 GMT

* Any views expressed in this article are those of the author and not of Thomson Reuters Foundation.

Reporters Without Borders is extremely concerned about Gregorio Jiménez de la Cruz, a crime reporter for the Notisur and Liberal del Sur local dailies, who was kidnapped yesterday by an armed gang in Coatzacoalcos, in the eastern state of Veracruz.

Jiménez was abducted as he was returning to his home in the district of Villa Allende after taking his children to school. His kidnappers forced him to get into their car and drove off, a member of the Notisur staff said.

The army, navy and Veracruz state police have been mobilized jointly to search for Jiménez, whose family has been taken by the authorities to a protected location.

"We urge the authorities to continue their efforts to find Jiménez and arrest his abductors, who must be brought to justice," said Lucie Morillon, Reporters Without Borders head of research.

"The authorities must also closely examine the possibility that the motive for his abduction is linked to his work. A total of four journalists are currently missing in Veracruz state and another nine have been killed since 2010. This makes it one of the world's 10 deadliest regions for media personnel."

Nothing is known about Jiménez's current whereabouts, the identity of his kidnappers or their motive. Jiménez is one of the few reporters to have continued to cover murders and abduction in his region, despite the dangers that can result from this kind of reporting.

The level of violent crime is extremely high in Veracruz state, which is the hub of various kinds of trafficking and has long been dominated by the Zetas paramilitary organization. The Poza Rica daily El Despertador de Veracruz was targeted when one of its billboards was destroyed with a Molotov cocktail on 28 January.