The discovery of the dead body of a Mexican crime reporter who had been kidnapped on Monday is a tragic reminder of the harrowing reality faced by thousands of journalists across Mexico, one of the world’s most dangerous countries for media workers, said Amnesty International.

Journalists protest the rising violence and kidnappings against their peers during a march in Mexico City © Flickr / Knight Foundation
Journalists protest the rising violence and kidnappings against their peers during a march in Mexico City © Flickr / Knight Foundation

The body of Anabel Flores Salazar, 32, was found in the state of Puebla, a few kilometres from where she was kidnapped by armed men on Monday. Anabel worked for a local newspaper in the violence-ridden state of Veracruz, one of the most dangerous states for journalists in Mexico. At least 16 media workers have been killed there since 2010.

“The Mexican authorities must not waste one second in launching a thorough investigation into this brutal murder. The message must be crystal clear: those who are willing to stop at nothing to silence journalists will have to pay for their crimes,” said Erika Guevara-Rosas, Americas Director at Amnesty International.

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“Mexico must also provide much needed protection for journalists and media workers working in incredibly dangerous conditions, particularly those who cover crime stories. Failing to protect those who work to expose the grim reality of abuses in Mexico is akin to trying to sweeping them under the carpet.”

According to Reporters without Borders, 89 journalists have been killed and 17 have disappeared in Mexico since 2000.