One journalist kidnapped, another seriously injured in continued violence against the press in Mexico

The wave of violence against journalists in Mexico appears to have no end. Even as Mexican media outlets on June 9 reported the kidnapping of journalist Marco Antonio López Ortiz, information chief for the newspaper Novedades Acapulco in the state of Veracruz, journalists remained on alert because of the beating journalist Carlos de Jesús Rodríguez, director of the news site Gobernantes.com, suffered while in jail.

The news of the attacks against these two journalists comes just days after the body of a journalist who had disappeared was found in a secret grave. The attacks also coincide with the publication of a report from PEN Canadá and the International Human Rights Program (IHRP) at the University of Toronto that accused the Mexican government of being complicit in crimes against the press in a country where roughly 70 journalists have been killed since 2000.

López Ortiz was kidnapped by armed men Tuesday, June 7, as he was leaving a bar in Acapulco, according to El Economista. After years as a tranquil tourist destination, Acapulco has become a battlefield for rival drug gangs.

Ortiz's newspaper, Novedades, said the journalist had not appeared at work and his colleagues went to look for him. In front of the bar where he was kidnapped, his colleagues found his abandoned, locked car. On Thursday, June 9, a legal representative of Novedades filed a missing persons report, according to Milenio.

Meanwhile, in Veracruz Rodríguez was beaten after beingarrested Tuesday, May 10, accused of committing violence against a woman, reported La Policiaca. The journalist was freed hours later after posting bond, explained Alcalorpolitico.

However, days later, some media outlets reported that Rodríguez was in serious condition in a hospital because of the beating he took in jail, reported Crónica Digital. According to Plumas Libres, the journalist was "fighting for his life".

Gobernantes.com said that Rodríguez previously had been threatened, along with other journalists from the state.

Mexico is the most dangerous country to practice journalism in the hemisphere, due mainly to drug trafficking-related violence that has left roughly 35,000 dead since 2006. However, drug traffickers are not the only aggressors against the press, as security forces also have been to blame, according to a report CEPET released in March.

See this Knight Center map for more details about threats against journalists in Mexico.

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.