Morales, a crime photojournalist for the daily Diario de Poza Rica and a freelancer for the newspaper Tribuna Papanteca in the town of Papantla in Veracruz state, was last seen by his wife in the city of Poza Rica, news reports said. He disappeared after telling staff at Diario de Poza Rica that he needed to get out of the city “for personal reasons,” according to a statement from the Veracruz attorney general’s office.
Morales’ wife filed a complaint with the Veracruz state prosecutor on July 23, according to news reports. Authorities said they launched an investigation into the reporter’s disappearance, news reports said.
Local journalists told CPJ that Morales’ disappearance had heightened fear among the Veracruz press corps.