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Mexican journalist feared kidnapped, authorities say

Investigators inspect the car of missing Mexican journalist Jaime Barrera
Investigators inspect the car of missing Mexican journalist Jaime Barrera - Copyright AFP ULISES RUIZ
Investigators inspect the car of missing Mexican journalist Jaime Barrera - Copyright AFP ULISES RUIZ

A well-known journalist and broadcaster missing in western Mexico is believed to have been kidnapped, authorities said Tuesday.

Jaime Barrera is thought to have been abducted by unknown persons on Monday afternoon after leaving a radio station where he worked in the city of Guadalajara, the state prosecutor’s office said.

Mexico is one of the world’s most dangerous countries for the press, though according to Barrera’s family, he had not received threats or reported any problems related to his journalism.

Investigators suspect that he was taken “in a violent manner, apparently by three or four subjects,” prosecutor Luis Joaquin Mendez said at a press conference.

Witness testimony suggested that at least one of the kidnappers was carrying a gun, he said.

At the time of his apparent abduction, Barrera was not carrying his mobile phone, which made it harder to locate him, Mendez said.

The journalist’s car, which was found hours later in a residential area, did not show any signs of having been attacked, he added.

His daughter Itzul Barrera had raised the alarm late Monday after he went missing.

“My father, the best journalist in this state. He is missing. I need you to please help us find him,” she wrote on social media platform X, formerly Twitter. 

Barrera is the host of a news program on a local Televisa channel and a commentator on a political opinion program on Channel 44, associated with the University of Guadalajara.

The media rights group Reporters Without Borders (RSF) expressed “grave concern” at Barrera’s disappearance and urged authorities to do their utmost to find him alive.

Mexico is ranked by RSF as one of the most dangerous countries in the world for the media.

Since 2000, more than 150 journalists have been murdered in Mexico. The majority of these crimes remain unpunished.

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