Mexico: Cops Arrested in ‘Disappearance’ of Journalist

Mexican authorities on Jan. 8 detained 13 members of a local police force in the state of Veracruz in connection with the Jan. 2 abduction of journalist Moisés Sánchez. The detained constitute a third of the police force in the town of Medellín. State prosecutor Luis Ángel Bravo said the men could be held for 30 days while an investigation is underway.  Sánchez was taken from his home by unknown gunmen in civilian clothing. Tests are underway on a body found in the town, to determine if it is the remains of the missing journalist.

Sánchez edited a local weekly in Medellín, La Unión (it appears not to have a website), with a reputation for fearless coverage of drug-related violence. The arrests came in the case hours after a group of journalists interrupted a session of the Veracruz legislature in state capital Xalapa with placards reading “7 DAYS WITHOUT MOISES.”

Veracruz—the scene of a three-way turf war between the Gulf Cartel, Los Zetas and the New Generation gang—is one of the most dangerous states in Mexico for journalists. Three reporters have been killed there since 2011—and  Sánchez may prove to be the fourth.  But this is part of a nationwide wave of violence against journalists. Mexico’s National Human Rights Commission says that 97 journalists have been killed in the country since 2010.

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