Missing Mexican journalists appear chained hand and foot in video,

Missing Mexican journalists appear chained hand and foot in video,

At least 15 journalists killed in Mexico so far in 2022

At least 15 journalists killed in Mexico so far in 2022 03: 45

Media rights activists voiced concern on Wednesday for three Mexican journalists feared to have been abducted two weeks ago in an area controlled by drug traffickers. Jesus Pintor Alegre, Fernando Moreno Villegas and Alan Garcia Aguilar, who worked for the news website Escenario Calentano, disappeared on December 27 in Guerrero state.

In a video posted by unknown persons on social media, two of the missing journalists appear chained hand and foot. One the journalists says they’re “paying the consequences” for their reporting in the violent southern region.

Tres reporteros de Tierra Caliente, Guerrero, han sido reportados como desaparecidos.
Son creadores de la página informativa de Facebook Escenario Calentano:
📌Fernando Moreno Villegas
📌Alan García Aguilar
📌Jesús Pintor Alegrehttps://t.co/FlzJClHgYYpic.twitter.com/fy3uCwuY5H

— SDP Noticias (@sdpnoticias) January 10, 2023

The area where the journalists went missing is “very difficult, very complex, controlled almost 100 percent by the Familia Michoacana” drug cartel, Reporters Without Borders (RFS) representative Balbina Flores told AFP.

RSF, the Committee to Protect Journalists and fellow rights group Article 19 made a joint appeal for the authorities to “find the journalists immediately,” as well as to provide protection to relatives and other media workers in the area.

The Guerrero State Human Rights Commission also issued a statement demanding that authorities launch an investigation.

Mexico is considered one of the world’s most dangerous places to work as a journalist. Since 2000, more than 150 journalists have been murdered in Mexico, according to RSF.

Growing public outrage in Mexico as journalists are targeted and killed 04: 43

Last month one of the country’s best-known television news presenters said he had survived an apparent assassination attempt in Mexico City. Ciro Gomez Leyva said two people on a motorbike shot at him while he was traveling in his armored vehicle, but he was unharmed.

Police Chief Omar Garcia Harfuch said 11 people had been detained in connection with the attack on a vehicle driven by the journalist.

The little-known gang behind the attack dealt in murder, extorting money from businessmen and street-level drug dealing on the city’s rough east side, officials said. Authorities did not explain why they believed such a small-time gang had tried to kill one of Mexico’s most prominent journalists.

Gómez Leyva escaped shaken but unharmed — saved by his SUV’s bullet-proofing.

In raids and searches that led to the detentions, police found a cap with the letters CJNG, the initials of the hyper-violent Jalisco New Generation Cartel, but Garcia Harfuch said that didn’t necessarily mean the cartel was involved.

“It is very frequent in Mexico City for criminal gangs to use names — Sinaloa Cartel, Jalisco Cartel — just to communicate a link with them, without meaning they are part” of the cartels, he said. “As in other arrests and searches, they have the initials of any number of cartels.”

A top lieutenant of the Jalisco cartel threatened another journalist earlier in 2022, which was the deadliest year in at least three decades for Mexican journalists and media workers, with at least 15 slayings. Reporters Without Borders said at least 10 of the journalists were killed because of their work.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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