Mexican police detained over journalist’s kidnapping

January 5, 2015

A group of police officers was detained Monday in the Mexican state of Veracruz in connection with the kidnapping of a journalist who reported on drug violence, investigators said.

“As part of the investigation into the disappearance of Moisés Sánchez Cerezo, municipal police from Medellín de Bravo were detained, subject to investigation, in the early hours of (Monday),” local prosecutors said.

The statement did not say how many officers were detained.

Sánchez, the editor of Medellín newspaper La Unión, was kidnapped on Friday by armed men who broke into his house in the eastern town and took him away along with his camera and cell phone.

He is known for his stories on the drug-related violence that has shaken Medellín, which neighbors Veracruz, one of Mexico’s largest ports. Watchdog group Article 19 said Sánchez had recently learned from a “credible source” that the town’s mayor planned to “shut him up and teach him a lesson” for his reporting.

Veracruz is the most dangerous state in Mexico for journalists. At least 15 have been killed and four others have disappeared there since 2000, according to London-based Article 19. Across Mexico, 81 journalists were killed from 2000 to September 2014, according to Reporters Without Borders, which calls the country one of the most dangerous in the world for journalists.

The nexus between drug-trafficking gangs and corrupt officials has been in the spotlight in Mexico since the disappearance and likely massacre of 43 students on September 26 in the southern state of Guerrero. That case, in which corrupt police are accused of handing the aspiring teachers over to hitmen from the Guerreros Unidos drug gang, has sparked nationwide outrage and caused a crisis for President Enrique Peña Nieto.

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