In Mexico, journalist is killed in Tabasco and a second reporter is abducted in Veracruz

A journalist was murdered on the night of June 11 in Tabasco, Mexico. Hours later, another journalist in the state of Veracruz was abducted, and his whereabouts are still unknown, as reported by Univision.

Norma Sarabia (Facebook)

Norma Sarabia (Facebook)

Norma Sarabia, a journalist for Tabasco Today for 15 years, was killed by two armed men who shot her at the door of her home, in the municipality of Huimanguillo, according to the site Enfoque Monterrey. Tabasco Hoy reported that Sarabia was hit at least four times while talking to a relative.

Enfoque Monterrey reported that in 2014 the journalist denounced having been threatened by two police officers of the municipality where she resided. According to the site, Sarabia covered the crime beat.

The Attorney General of the State of Tabasco released a statement in which it indicated that investigations into Sarabia’s murder have already been opened and that measures of protection for her relatives have been adopted. The institution also reported that procedures are being carried out before the Attorney General of the Republic so that the protocol of protection for journalists is complied with and that no line of investigation is ruled out.

Sarabia is allegedly the first woman journalist killed in the state of Tabasco, Tabasco Hoy reported via Twitter. Also, the editorial director of that newspaper, Héctor Tapia, deeply lamented the journalist’s death. According to EFE, Tapia reported that the journalist no longer signed her journalistic notes for fear of reprisals.

The governor of Tabasco, Adán López Hernández, lamented the murder and extended his solidarity to Sarabia’s family at the same time that he said he hopes the crime will be thoroughly investigated, El Edén MX published.

Marcos Miranda Cogco (Facebook)

Marcos Miranda Cogco (Facebook)

Meanwhile, in the early morning hours of June 12 in Veracruz, journalist Marco Miranda Cogco disappeared. The journalist took his granddaughter to school when he was intercepted and then abducted by armed men aboard two vans, news site Excelsior reported.

Miranda has been a political consultant and journalist for 32 years, Infobae reported. He is currently in charge of the Facebook news page 'Noticias a tiempo,' according to Vanguardia.

According to El Universal, his relatives reported his disappearance on social networks and made the governor of Veracruz, Cuitláhuac García, responsible for what might happen to him.

On Facebook, Diario Veracruz published the testimony of Miranda's wife, who asked for her husband’s return. She noted that her husband is a critical journalist and that he has always suffered threats from local authorities. She alleged that Miranda was recently threatened by Eric Patrocinio Cisneros Burgos, secretary of government of Veracruz, and by the current governor of Veracruz.

The secretary of government denied being involved in the abduction and said he was a person who respected freedom of expression, as reported by the site Palabras Claras. Also, he denied having threatened Miranda.

"We are not wicked, we will continue to respect freedom of expression. We will demand the initiation of an investigation against those who threatened journalists. The eras of 'tolerating' criminal groups and kidnappers has ended,” the governor of Veracruz published on the morning of June 12 on Twitter.

The Secretary of Public Security of the State of Veracruz announced via Twitter that the state police already have deployed an operation to search for and find the abducted journalist.

“2017 was the deadliest year for journalists in the modern history of Mexico (9 murders), which was surpassed only by 2018 (10 deaths). Up to June 2019, counting Norma Sarabia, there are already 7 murders,” Jan-Albert Hootsen, representative in Mexico for the Committee to Protect journalists (CPJ), said via Twitter.