Mexican journalist who covered crime disappears

Other News Materials 16 February 2008 00:56 (UTC +04:00)

( dpa ) - The international organization Reporters Without Borders (RWB) expressed its concern Friday over the disappearance of a journalist of the daily La Opinion de Apatizingan in the centre-western Mexican state of Michoacan.

Mauricio Estrada Zamora, 38, a reporter in the crime section of the daily, went missing late Tuesday after he headed home after work.

"The same night, police in Pena Colorada, in the neighbouring town of Buenavista, found his car. The editorial staff of La Opinion de Apatzingan has told Reporters Without Borders that the car's lights were on and its doors open," RWB said.

The organization noted that preliminary hypotheses make a kidnapping "highly likely."

Mexico is considered one of the most dangerous countries in the world to be a journalist. Over 40 journalists have been murdered since 2000 and eight remain missing.

Michoacan - where other reporters have been killed or kidnapped in the past - is an organized crime stronghold, and federal authorities have deployed thousands of soldiers and police officers there over the past year.

According to RWB, Estrada Zamora published a story three weeks before his disappearance on a police officer who later threatened the reporter.