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Attacks on the Press   |   Mexico, Pakistan

Between conflict and stability: Journalists in Pakistan and Mexico cope with everyday threats

By Daniel DeFraia

Mexican journalists hold photos of killed colleagues during a demonstration in Mexico City on February 23, 2014, against kidnapping and murder of Veracruz reporter Gregorio Jimenez de la Cruz. (Reuters/Henry Romero)

The Pakistani journalist knew the risk, but he wrote the story about the militants anyway. Years earlier he had been shot, after reporting on another taboo subject, but for him the freelance work was thrilling, even after he had to marry his girlfriend in secret and flee Pakistan without her--and still now, since the nightmares began.

Ataques contra a imprensa

Entre o conflito e a estabilidade: Jornalistas no Paquistão e no México lidam com ameaças diárias

Por Daniel DeFraia

Jornalistas mexicanos seguram fotos de colegas mortos durante uma manifestação na Cidade do México, em 23 de fevereiro de 2014, contra o sequestro e assassinato de repórter de Veracruz Gregorio Jimenez de la Cruz. (Reuters/Henry Romero)

O jornalista paquistanês sabia do risco, mas mesmo assim ele escreveu a história sobre os militantes. Anos antes, ele havia sido baleado, depois de fazer uma reportagem sobre mais um assunto tabu, mas para ele o trabalho freelance era emocionante, mesmo depois que ele teve que se casar com sua namorada em segredo e fugir do Paquistão sem ela - e mesmo agora, desde que começaram os pesadelos.

abril 27, 2015 11:00 AM ET

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Autoridades de Veracruz afirmam ter encontrado morto jornalista que estava desaparecido

Cidade do México, 29 de janeiro de 2015--O corpo decapitado do jornalista mexicano José Moisés Sánchez Cerezo foi encontrado cedo no sábado no estado de Veracruz, segundo um comunicado da procuradoria-geral do estado. O jornalista e proprietário do jornal La Unión havia desaparecido em 2 de janeiro.

janeiro 30, 2015 4:46 PM ET

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Américas, México, Noticias

Autoridades de Veracruz afirman que hallaron muerto a periodista desaparecido

Ciudad de México, 29 de enero de 2015--El cuerpo decapitado del periodista mexicano José Mosisés Sánchez Cerezo fue hallado temprano el sábado en el estado de Veracruz, según un comunicado de la procuraduría general del estado. El periodista y propietario del periódico La Unión había desaparecido el 2 de enero.

29 de Enero 2015 8:25 AM ET

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Alerts   |   Mexico

Veracruz officials say abducted journalist found dead

Mexico City, January 29, 2015--The decapitated body of Mexican journalist José Moisés Sánchez Cerezo was found early Saturday in Veracruz state, according to a statement from the state attorney general's office. The journalist and owner of the newspaper La Unión had been missing since January 2.

Américas, México, Noticias

Periodista secuestrado de su casa en México

Una activista con una foto de José Moisés Sánchez Cerezo, periodista mexicano quien fue secuestrado en el estado de Veracruz (Reuters/Tomas Bravo)

Nueva York, 5 de enero de 2015--El Comité para la Protección de los Periodistas (CPJ, por sus siglas en inglés) condena el secuestro del periodista mexicano José Moisés Sánchez Cerezo y exhorta a las autoridades a hacer todo lo posible para encontrarlo y detener a los responsables.    

6 de Enero 2015 11:14 AM ET

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Américas, México, Notícias

Jornalista sequestrado de sua casa no México

Uma ativista com foto de José Moisés Sánchez Cerezo, jornalista mexicano que foi sequestrado no estado de Veracruz (Reuters/Tomas Bravo)

Nova York, 5 de janeiro de 2015 - O Comitê para a Proteção dos Jornalistas (CPJ) condena o sequestro do jornalista mexicano José Moisés Sánchez Cerezo e insta as autoridades a fazer todo o possível para encontra-lo e deter os responsáveis.

janeiro 5, 2015 6:45 PM ET

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Alerts   |   Mexico

Journalist kidnapped from his home in Mexico

An activist holds a picture of José Moisés Sánchez Cerezo, a Mexican journalist who was kidnapped in the state of Veracruz. (Reuters/Tomas Bravo)

New York, January 5, 2015--The Committee to Protect Journalists condemns the abduction of Mexican journalist José Moisés Sánchez Cerezo and calls on authorities to do their utmost to find him and apprehend the perpetrators.


José Moisés Sánchez Cerezo

Sánchez' decapitated and dismembered body was found early on January 24 in Veracruz state, according to a statement from the state attorney general's office. The journalist and owner of the newspaper La Unión had been missing since January 2. On February 5, federal investigators said their DNA tests had confirmed the body was that of Sánchez, according to news reports.

Sánchez was kidnapped from his home in the municipality of Medellín de Bravo on January 2 and his computer, camera, and other electronic materials seized, according to news reports. The journalist had founded La Unión, a small weekly print and online newspaper that often criticized city authorities, particularly the mayor, Omar Cruz Reyes, and denounced local criminal activity as well as the poor quality of basic services like garbage pickup and the absence of street lights.

A local journalist who asked to remain anonymous for fear of reprisal told CPJ that Sánchez had not published a print edition in months due to financial constraints. The last story published on La Unión's website dated to April 2014, according to CPJ research. In the months before his death, according to local journalists and news reports, Sánchez had posted on Facebook critical commentary about crime and the actions of the local government, links to articles, and videos. He also acted as a source for other Veracruz journalists, whom he often provided with photographs and other information.

In the days before Sánchez was kidnapped, the journalist posted on Facebook several photographs of protests against the governor, Javier Duarte de Ochoa, as well as links to articles about a recent murder. On December 13 and 14, he posted several articles, press releases, and a video regarding the formation of a neighborhood watch self-defense group in response to local crime. It wasn't clear whether Sánchez, who was also active in the group, was the author of any of the materials posted on Facebook.

The journalist who asked to remain anonymous told CPJ that information about self-defense groups was particularly sensitive for local officials who sought to downplay shortcomings in local law enforcement. The journalist's son, Jorge Sánchez, told CPJ that his father had been threatened by the mayor in connection with his coverage of the groups.

The state attorney general told reporters after the crime that he had evidence pointing toward the mayor. "I have elements to suggest the mayor's participation," Veracruz state attorney general Luis Ángel Bravo said.

The state attorney general's office said a former Veracruz police officer turned drug trafficker, Noé Rodríguez, confessed to carrying out the abduction and murder, along with five other suspects, and said he had killed Sánchez the day of the kidnapping. The suspects were allegedly told by the deputy police chief of Medellín, Martín López Meneses, to kidnap and kill Sánchez, according to the state attorney general's office's statement which cited Rodríguez. López, who was also the driver and bodyguard of Mayor Cruz, was placed under preventive detention shortly after the murder.

Rodríguez also alleged that López had received his orders from Mayor Cruz, who wanted the journalist to be "disappeared" because he was angered by Sánchez' coverage of local crime, according to news reports. In exchange, the reports said, Cruz would allow the criminal gang to deal drugs in the area. Cruz has denied involvement in the crime and maintained that he had no disagreements with Sánchez, according to news reports.

Cruz cannot be officially charged because he is granted immunity from prosecution as an elected official, according to news reports. Prosecutors have asked the state legislature to strip the mayor of his immunity.

In the days after the kidnapping, Governor Duarte referred to Sánchez as an "activist and taxi driver," which drew complaints from local journalists that the governor was trying to minimize Sánchez's work as journalist.

Veracruz is one of the most dangerous states in Mexico for the press. In the past, Governor Duarte's government has sought to dismiss any possible link between journalists' murders and their profession.

January 2, 2015 4:14 PM ET

Américas, México, Noticias

Asesinan a tiros a periodista mexicano en el estado de Oaxaca

Amigos y familiares de Octavio Rojas Hernández, periodista mexicano asesinado a tiros el martes, asisten a su funeral. (AP/Felix Marquez)

Ciudad de México, 13 de agosto de 2014--El Comité para la Protección de los Periodistas (CPJ, por sus siglas en inglés) condena el asesinato del periodista mexicano Octavio Rojas Hernández, hecho ocurrido el lunes en el estado de Oaxaca, e insta a las autoridades a investigar el crimen, descubrir el motivo y enjuiciar a los autores.

13 de Agosto 2014 6:54 PM ET

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