Four journalists in southeastern Mexico remain missing

  • By Guest
  • November 24, 2010

By Ingrid Bachmann

At least four journalists have disappeared in the Mexican state of Michoacán since 2006 - an epicenter of the government’s offensive against drug trafficking - and there have not been any concrete developments in the investigations by the federal and state authorities, Reporters without Borders (RWB) reports.

The four missing journalists are José Antonio García Apac (missing since November 2006), Mauricio Estrada Zamora (February 2008), Maria Esther Aguilar Cansimbe (November 2009), and Ramón Ángeles Zalpa (April 2010).

Mexico is the most dangerous country in the world for press workers and drug trafficking violence has left its mark on journalism (for more details see this Knight Center map).

RWB explains that bureaucracy and legal issues have left the investigations dead in the water. In Michoacán, “disappearance” is not a crime, so the cases are being investigated as “illegal privation of freedom” and haven’t been prioritized by local or federal authorities.

Relatives of the missing reporters have complained that the cases have stalled both to the state attorneys and the federal prosecutor for crimes against journalists, AFP adds.

In an editorial, Cambio de Michoacán newspaper recognized that crimes against journalists aren’t exclusive to its state, but it was still critical of the authorities who “have been accepting the problem as is” without offering solutions.

Note from the editor: This story was originally published by the Knight Center’s blog Journalism in the Americas, the predecessor of LatAm Journalism Review.

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