New York, February 5, 2014–Armed assailants today abducted Mexican crime beat reporter Gregorio Jiménez de la Cruz in the town of Coatzacoalcos, Veracruz state, according to news reports. The Committee to Protect Journalists calls on the kidnappers to release him immediately.
“Because of violence and corruption, fear and censorship have taken a staggering toll on the press in Veracruz,” said Carlos Lauría, CPJ’s senior program coordinator for the Americas. “We urge Mexican authorities to do everything in their power to locate Gregorio Jiménez de la Cruz and bring him back to safety.”
Jiménez, who covers crime and security for the newspapers Notisur and Liberal del Sur, was intercepted at his house after dropping his children off at school, the reports said. At least three journalists have disappeared in the state of Veracruz since 2011 and have been missing since, CPJ research shows. Drug-related violence makes Mexico one of the world’s most dangerous countries for the press, according to CPJ research.