Gunmen abducted Salvador Adame Pardo, director of the television station 6TV, on May 18, 2017, from the central Mexican town of Nueva Italia in Michoacán state, according to media reports. On June 26, 2017, state authorities told Mexican media that they had found the burned remains of Adame on June 14, 2017, in the town of Gabriel Zamora.
Authorities have not publicly identified any suspects and no arrests had been made as of mid-December, 2017.
Witnesses told local media they saw armed men abduct Adame shortly before 8 p.m. near a water purifying plant on Nueva Italia’s Lázaro Cárdenas Avenue. The attackers forced him into their black SUV and fled the scene in the direction of Nuevo Coróndiro, northwest of Nueva Italia, according to the same witness reports.
In a brief statement, the Michoacán State Attorney General’s Office said authorities opened an investigation hours after Adame’s abduction, and that the federal attorney general’s office had been notified, because Adame is a journalist.
Adame covered general news and local politics for two decades from the Múgica municipality in southern Michoacán, and was an owner and director of 6TV.
A friend and colleague who did not want to be named for safety reasons told CPJ that Adame had been a frequent critic of municipal officials.
On April 12, 2016, CPJ reported that police briefly detained Adame and his wife, Frida Pardo, a co-owner of 6TV, while the couple was covering a sit-in at the Múgica municipal building by women protesting changes in a local social program.
After this incident, Adame told CPJ that he believed the order to detain him and his wife may have come from a government official. "That we were filming the removal of the women may have angered someone, but we were just doing our job," he told CPJ. He said at the time that he was considering leaving the state.
In a statement on May 30, 2017, Michoacán Attorney General José Martín Godoy Castro said Adame’s kidnapping might have been motivated by debts or personal problems, though he did not elaborate further.
Other journalists, as well as Adame’s family, have criticized these statements as an attempt to criminalize Adame, and have called for a full investigation into his death.