Mexico: Missing reporter under government protection

Mexican crime journalist Stephania Cardoso, who went missing with her two-year-old son on 8 June, is understood to be under the protection of the federal government. Cardoso, a reporter with the Zócalo Saltillo newspaper in the state of Coahuila, spoke to Radio Fórmula on 15 June, confirming she and her son were alive and well but gave no further details of her whereabouts or circumstances surrounding her disappearance. Colleagues last saw Cardoso and her son on 7 June during a Freedom of Expression Day celebration.

Another journalist murdered in eastern Mexico

Another journalist from the Mexican state of Veracruz was found murdered on 14 June.

Victor Baez, the Veracruz state crime reporter for the national Milenio newspaper, had been kidnapped on Wednesday outside the offices of website Reporteros Policiacos, where he also worked as an editor. According to police in Veracruz, the drug cartel Zetas claimed responsibility for the murder. Police are now providing security to other staff at the website.

Baez’s body was dumped in downtown Xalapa, a city in the southern state of Veracruz, where seven journalists and one former journalist have been killed in the last six months.

The authorities claim they are following tips linking the murders to local government officials but there have not been arrests over any of the homicides.

The most recent murder comes on the heels of the disappearance of another reporter in the northern state of Coahuila. Stephania Cardoso, 28, a crime reporter for the Saltillo-based daily Zocalo, was reported missing on Friday last week together with her young son. Cardoso was last seen at a party given the previous day in celebration of Mexico’s national freedom of expression day. This week, Cardoso called a national television programme and said she was in hiding fearing for her life. No further information on her whereabouts has been released.

Both the murder and disappearance come within days of the approval by Mexico of landmark legislation that federalises crimes against freedom of expression. The new legislation would allow federal authorities to investigative these crimes over state authorities. Federal procedural and penal codes changes are still pending to make the new law operational.