Mexican journalist kidnapped after receiving threats

Ministerial police officers inspect the vehicle in which Mexican journalist Marcos Miranda Cogco was riding her granddaughter to school when he was kidnapped by armed men, in Boca del Rio, Veracruz State, Mexico, on Wednesday. — AFP

COATZACOALCOS, Mexico — A Mexican journalist was kidnapped by gunmen on Wednesday in the violent eastern state of Veracruz, less than 24 hours after another was murdered in what has become the deadliest country for the press this year.

Marcos Miranda, editor and crime reporter for the news portal Noticias a Tiempo, was abducted by two armed men as he took his 10-year-old daughter to school in the town of Boca del Rio, said his wife and the Veracruz State Commission for the Protection of Journalists.

Miranda's wife, Maria del Pilar Gasca, said he had received threats from state Interior Minister Eric Cisneros over his coverage.

"He wanted (Miranda) to write good things about him in exchange for bribes, and said if he didn't he knew what would happen," she told local media.

She added that their daughter was "doing very badly."

"It happened right in front of her," she said.

The kidnapping came the day after journalist Norma Sarabia was murdered in the neighboring state of Tabasco, the sixth slain in Mexico this year.

As of May, the country was the deadliest for the press in 2019, according to the watchdog group Reporters Without Borders. The group regularly ranks Mexico alongside war-torn Syria and Afghanistan as the most dangerous in the world for journalists.

More than 100 reporters have been murdered since 2000 in Mexico, which has been swept by a wave of violent crime in recent years as the government has waged war on the country's powerful drug cartels.

The vast majority of the killings remain unpunished. — AFP