Marco Antonio López Ortiz

Beats Covered:
Local or Foreign:

The daily newspaper Novedades Acapulco reported on June 9 that López, its news editor, had been abducted by a group of men two nights earlier. López’s supervisor, Armando Robles, told CPJ that when López did not arrive at the paper the day before, a group of reporters began to retrace his movements. The editor left work at 10:30 p.m. the night of the 7th and then went to visit his godfather at his home, leaving the house around 11:30 p.m., Robles said.

Witnesses told Robles that a group of men assaulted López as he crossed a street. People gathered at a corner taco stand said they thought they were witnessing a robbery, “but the men took him away. We don’t know why.” Robles said.

Among other responsibilities, López, 42, managed the paper’s coverage of crime. Journalists in Acapulco told CPJ that they are under constant threat by organized crime groups to keep coverage to a minimum.

Robles said the paper’s crime stories are cautious and limited, with details almost always constrained to what the police release officially, as the staff hopes to avoid angering crime cartels that are fighting for control of Acapulco. “We don’t investigate,” Robles said. Publishing more in-depth information could make them targets.

In October, the editor’s sister Rosa Isela López Ortiz told the local newspaper La Jornada Guerrero that the state prosecutor’s office had taken a DNA sample from López’s father to see if the missing journalist was among any of the unidentified bodies that have turned up in the region, but that there was no match. Beyond that, she said, the family has received zero communication from authorities regarding the investigation. All the family wants, she told the newspaper, is for López to be returned to them, in whatever condition. “We’re hoping that they’ll give him back to us soon in any way, alive or dead — we just want to know where he is.”