Journalist kidnapped in southern Mexico found dead

AP News
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Posted: Feb 09, 2016 10:43 PM

MEXICO CITY (AP) — A reporter who was kidnapped by armed assailants in the Gulf Coast state of Veracruz this week has been found dead, Mexican authorities said Tuesday.

Anabel Flores Salazar's body was discovered on a highway in the neighboring state of Puebla and later identified by family members, Veracruz prosecutors said in a statement.

Flores Salazar, a crime-beat reporter for a local newspaper in Orizaba, Veracruz, was dragged from her home near the city before dawn Monday.

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 have said they were investigating "all the reporter's possible ties." The office said she had been in the company of an alleged Zetas drug gang member when he was arrested in 2014.

"Veracruz authorities have a history of denigrating the activities of local journalists without providing any concrete evidence," said Carlos Lauria, senior America program coordinator at the New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists. "We urge authorities to abstain from making unfounded accusations that may further endanger the Veracruz media."

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.