MEXICO CITY (AP) — A reporter was dragged from her home by armed assailants before dawn Monday in southern Mexico and had not been seen since, authorities said.
Crime-beat reporter Anabel Flores Salazar was kidnapped in the Gulf coast state of Veracruz at about 2 a.m.
The Veracruz state prosecutor's office said police were looking for her. The kidnapping took place near the city of Orizaba, where she worked for a local newspaper.
In August, five gunmen burst into a bar in Orizaba and killed a reporter who was sitting at a table with a reputed drug gang boss.
At least 15 journalists have been killed in Veracruz since Gov. Javier Duarte took office in 2010 and three more have disappeared. His administration has been criticized for suggesting many of those reporters had links to drug gangs or were victims of common crime.
In Flores Salazar's case, prosecutors said they were investigating "all the reporter's possible ties."
The office said she had been in the company of Victor Osorio Santacruz when he was arrested in 2014. Osorio Santacruz was previously identified by the Mexican army as a leader of the local branch of the Zetas drug cartel.
The New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists said in a statement that it was shocked by Flores Salazar's abduction and urged authorities to do everything in their power to locate her.
"Veracruz has become one of the most dangerous regions in the world for the press, crippling citizens' right to access vital information about crime and corruption," said Carlos Lauria, the group's senior program coordinator for the Americas. "The Mexican federal government must put an end to this cycle of endless violence by bringing the perpetrators of this crime to justice."