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Mexico City Televisa crime reporter apparently abducted, now missing for 10 days

(RSF/IFEX) - RSF is very worried about the disappearance of Jorge Carrasco Taracena, a crime reporter for the privately-owned national television station Televisa, who went missing in Mexico City on 30 April 2008 amid an increase in violence related to drug trafficking.

"So far there is no evidence that Carrasco Taracena's disappearance is linked to his work as a journalist, but the fact that he specialised in sensitive stories would make him a likely target," RSF said. "We fear the worst after more than a week without any ransom demand or message claiming responsibility, or any message from the victim."

RSF added: "Investigators should examine the possibility that this is work-related and, until other evidence comes to light, police anti-kidnapping units should deploy all necessary resources to look for him."

Televisa reported Carrasco Taracena's disappearance during its main news programme on 6 May. It said he was seen for the last time on the morning of 30 April at Televisa headquarters. Carrasco's job was to go around Mexico City at night covering police operations and crime.

So far there is no hard evidence that Carrasco was kidnapped but an official source said an anonymous caller told the federal prosecutor's office he was forced into a pickup truck.

Carrasco Taracena's disappearance comes almost exactly a year after journalists Gerardo Paredes and Gamaliel López of TV Azteca Noroeste went missing on 10 May 2007 in Monterrey (in the northern state of Nuevo León). RSF has recorded nine cases of journalists going missing in Mexico since 2000.

Televisa lost another reporter amid a similar surge in violence linked to organised crime just over a year ago, when Amado Ramírez, its correspondent in the southern city of Acapulco, was gunned down on an Acapulco street on 6 April 2007. The murder has still not been solved and the investigation has been marred by irregularities.

For further information on the Paredes and López case, see: http://www.ifex.org/en/content/view/full/87831

For further information on the Ramírez case, see: http://www.ifex.org/en/content/view/full/90362

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