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JOURNALISM IN THE AMERICAS Blog

Another journalist killed in Mexico: body of kidnapped journalist from Veracruz found in Puebla



Mexican authorities confirmed that a body found in the state of Puebla is that of journalist Anabel Flores Salazar, who was kidnapped from her house in Veracruz this past Monday, according to magazine Proceso.

The confirmation was made by the attorneys general of Puebla and Veracruz, the State Commission for the Care and Protection of Journalists (CEAPP) and by forensic analysts after the relatives of the reporter traveled to Puebla to identify the body, Proceso added.

According to news site Zeta, the body was found hanging from a tree, with a plastic bag over its head. Proceso added that the body was partially clothed and found in an area 30 minutes from the town where the journalist lived.

Anabel Flores Salazar (Screenshot from the journalist's Facebook account)

At dawn on Monday, Feb. 8, a group of armed men entered Salazar Flores’ home in Veracruz and took her away "to complete an arrest warrant against the reporter," her family said at the time.

The journalist covered crime for the newspaper El Sol de Orizaba and worked for other media like El Mundo de Orizaba and El Buen Tono, according to Animal Político.

When confirming the kidnapping of journalist, the State Commission for the Care and Protection for Journalists in Veracruz said Flores Salazar was a "incisive reporter and reported on organized crime."

Mexico is one of the most dangerous countries for journalists. In a report from the International Federation of Journalists, the country was listed third in a ranking of the countries with the highest numbers of journalists killed in the last 25 years; the organization registered 120 cases in Mexico.

Veracruz has become one of the most dangerous states for journalists. Of the seven murders of journalists that happened in 2015 in the country, three occurred in this state. In July 2015, the organization Article 19 said that since 2000, 18 reporters had been killed in Veracruz and that 12 occurred during the adminsitration of current Governor Javier Duarte.

However, the exercise of freedom of expression is not only affected by murders of journalists. According to organization Article 19, "in the country, 23 journalists are missing and authorities have not yet brought truth and justice in those cases.” The figure is the highest in the world, according to the organization.

The report "The disappearance and forced disappearance of those who exercise freedom of expression in Mexico," presented on Feb. 9, found that, on average, two journalists have disappeared in the country each year from 2003 and 2015.

For Article 19, the report "exposes the failure of the state and the unwillingness to address these grave violations of human rights". The organization noted in particular the case of Moisés Sánchez Cerezo who was kidnapped and found dead days later.

Veracruz, Michoacan and Tamaulipas are the states with the most cases with four disappearances each.

In 96 percent of the cases, journalists covered issues like corruption and security related to public officials and organized cirmes, the report added. In 23 percent of the cases, the journalists previously had received threats.




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