Latin America & Caribbean

Mexico police held over abduction of journalist Sanchez

Journalists hold signs demanding the safe return of colleague Moises Sanchez during a protest in Xalapa on 7 January 7, 2015. Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Colleagues of Moises Sanchez think the state may have colluded in his kidnapping

Thirteen municipal police officers are being held in the eastern Mexican state of Veracruz over the kidnapping of a journalist on 2 January.

Moises Sanchez was abducted from his home by armed men on 2 January.

Mr Sanchez works for a newspaper in the city of Medellin and is known for his coverage of drug-related violence.

The arrests come amid a series of horrific disappearances and murders in which the security forces are alleged to be involved.

Mexicans have taken to the streets almost daily in support of 43 students who disappeared in the state of Guerrero on 26 September.

The case, in which municipal officers confessed to handing the students over to a local drug gang who are believed to have killed them, has shone a spotlight on allegations of widespread collusion between the police and organised crime.

Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Outrage about the disappearance of 43 students on 26 September continues to be widespread and raw

Colleagues and friends of Mr Sanchez also voiced their concern that the security forces were involved in his abduction, holding up signs saying "It was the state" at a demonstration in the town of Xalapa on Wednesday.

Prosecutors said forensic tests were being carried out on a body found in a nearby village to establish if it could be that of Mr Sanchez.

Mexico's National Commission on Human Rights (CNDH) says 97 journalists have been killed in Mexico in connection with their work since 2010.

According to the CNDH, Veracruz is among the most dangerous Mexican states for journalists to work in.

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