10 June 2011

IAPA calls for prompt action to locate whereabouts of missing Mexican journalist

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Miami (June 10, 2011)—The Inter American Press Association (IAPA) today expressed regret and concern at the disappearance in Mexico of Marco Antonio López of the Novedades de Acapulco newspaper and urged the authorities to carry out an urgent investigation to ensure his physical safety.
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Miami (June 10, 2011)—The Inter American Press Association (IAPA) today expressed regret and concern at the disappearance in Mexico of Marco Antonio López of the Novedades de Acapulco newspaper and urged the authorities to carry out an urgent investigation to ensure his physical safety.

López, the news editor of the largest circulation newspaper in the western Mexican state of Guerrero, went missing Tuesday evening (June 7). He was understood to have been intercepted by unidentified assailants after leaving a friend’s home in Acapulco’s historic district. The following day his failure to turn up for work alarmed his colleagues, who immediately began a search and came across his car near the house he had been visiting the previous evening, the newspaper reported in its online edition yesterday.

The chairman of the IAPA’s Committee on Freedom of the Press and Information, Robert Rivard, editor of the San Antonio Express-News, Texas, called on the authorities to take “urgent action to locate López’ whereabouts.” He repeated a recent public call by the IAPA for the Mexican government to show “grater political will” for putting an end to the impunity reigning in the country.

Colleagues of the missing journalist told the IAPA’s Rapid Response Unit (RRU) in Mexico that according to eye-witnesses as López was about to get into his car “several automobiles arrived and a number of men got out of them, grabbed him and took him away.”

Representatives of Novedades de Acapulco and members of López’ family filed a formal report on the disappearance with the Guerrero State Attorney General’s Office. T

The motives for the abduction were not immediately known, with neither the journalist nor his paper having received any threats. However, reporters in Acapulco told the RRU that in recent years the level of violence in the region had worsened and in order to ensure their safety many news media outlets have chosen to remove from their front pages reports of violent incidents or publish them at ever smaller length.

The state of Guerrero is the one in Mexico with the most cases of journalists murdered or gone missing – 13 in the past 14 years – although not all are linked to their work.

For more information on this case go to www.impunidad.com.

The IAPA is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to the defense and promotion of freedom of the press and of expression in the Americas. It is made up of more than 1,300 print publications from throughout the Western Hemisphere and is based in Miami, Florida. The IAPA Impunity Project is funded by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and has the mission of combating violence against journalists and lessening the impunity surrounding the majority of such crimes. For more information please go to http://www.sipiapa.org; http://www.impunidad.com.

 

 

 

 

          

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