Saúl Noé Martínez Ortega

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Martínez, a 36-year-old crime reporter, was found dead in the northern state of Chihuahua a week after he was abducted by armed men in neighboring Sonora state.

Martínez was seized on the night of April 16, 2007, outside a municipal police station in Agua Prieta. Press reports said that after a high-speed chase, Martínez stopped his SUV at the entrance to the station and called for help. But heavily armed gunmen forced the reporter into their vehicle and drove off. On the morning of April 23, a passerby discovered the journalist’s body wrapped in a blanket on a road outside the town of Nuevo Casas Grandes, near the border between Chihuahua and Sonora, according to press reports and CPJ interviews.

Martínez had been dead for approximately six days, said José Larrinaga Talamantes, a spokesman for the state attorney general’s office in Hermosillo. He had been beaten and apparently died of a blow to the head, the journalist’s brother, Erick Martínez Ortega, told CPJ.

Martínez covered crime during night shifts for Interdiario, an Agua Prieta newspaper that published three times a week. Although investigators initially cited the reporter’s work as a possible motive, they have not disclosed further leads or arrests in the case.

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