Manuel Gabriel Fonseca Hernández

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Fonseca was last seen leaving his house in Acayucán, Veracruz state, to cover an event for the daily El Mañanero on September 17, according to local news reports. He has not been heard from since. Relatives of the Mexican journalist first reported him missing on September 21, police records show.

Fonseca, 18, covered the police beat for El Mañanero. Federal authorities said the local police in this region are widely controlled by organized crime groups, news reports said. Many journalists tailor their reporting so as to not offend crime bosses or political allies, local journalists told CPJ.

Journalists said they have not been able to reach Fonseca on his cell phone, news reports said. One journalist told the police that she received a garbled text message from Fonseca's number, but was not able to reach him when she tried calling.

Sources told CPJ that Fonseca's disappearance is deepening the fear in Veracruz where four journalists have already been killed so far this year. Many journalists have fled or gone into hiding, CPJ research shows.

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