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Crime reporter kidnapped in Veracruz, Mexico

On the morning of 5 February 2014 journalist Gregorio Jiménez de la Cruz was kidnapped in the city of Coatzacoalcos, Veracruz. According to various sources, the reporter was taken by armed men who broke into his home around 7:15 a.m. when he returned home after taking his children to school. His kidnappers were driving a grey vehicle without license plates.

Jiménez has worked as a crime reporter for El Liberal del Sur, Noti Sur and La Red and recently covered crimes in the Villa Allende region, particularly some kidnappings.

In an interview with ARTICLE19, the journalist Sayda Chinas said that state police and navy personnel were undertaking an operation to locate Jiménez.

Ángel Hernández, a correspondent for AVC Noticias, told ARTICLE19 that many journalists had gathered in the centre of Coatzacoalcoa calling for Jiménez's safety. Nevertheless, the response from authorities has been underwhelming.

Last year ARTICLE19 documented 38 attacks on free expression in the state of Veracruz; eight of these were kidnappings, and the disappearance of journalist Sergio Landa was one of the most serious. So far in 2014 ARTICLE19 has heard of two other journalists who have been abducted.

ARTICLE19 calls on all levels of government to take the necessary steps to locate the whereabouts of Gregario Jiménez. The organisation also calls on the Special Prosecutor for Crimes against Freedom of Expression (FEADLE) to investigate what has happened and on the Mechanism for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders and Journalists of the Ministry of the Interior (Segob) to guarantee the safety of media workers in Veracruz.

Lastly, ARTICLE19 calls on the Mexican state to live up to its responsibility to prevent, identify and punish free expression violations.

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