Photo: Avila Garcia's body was found in the state of Sonora
Mexican authorities found the dead body of kidnapped journalist Marco Antonio Avila Garcia on a road in the northwestern state of Sonora, officials told Efe.
The body was found around 4:00 p.m. Friday with “signs of torture and with a narco-message” left alongside,” sources with the Sonora state Attorney General’s Office said without providing further details.
Avila Garcia, 39, was at a carwash in the city of Ciudad Obregon a little after 4:00 p.m. Thursday when he was grabbed by at least three masked assailants toting assault rifles, his newspaper, El Regional de Sonora, said earlier Friday.
The independent National Human Rights Commission, or CNDH, Mexico’s equivalent of an ombud’s office, announced Friday in a statement after the body was found that it was launching its own investigation and will contact the slain man’s family and his employer for information.
It also demanded that authorities launch a thorough and immediate probe to ensure the crime does not go unpunished.
The Mexican chapter of Article 19, a London-based freedom of expression watchdog, said the killing brings to five the number of journalists murdered this year in Mexico and demanded authorities thoroughly investigate the crime and provide protection to the slain reporter’s family and colleagues.
Attacks on the press have intensified in Mexico in recent weeks with the killings of three photographers and an investigative reporter in the Gulf coast state of Veracruz and a shooting attack on the offices of El Mañana daily in the border city of Nuevo Laredo.
Rene Orta Salgado, a former journalist, was found dead Sunday in the trunk of his car in Cuernavaca, a resort town near the Mexican capital.
Mexico, where nearly 80 journalists have been murdered and several others have disappeared since 2000, is considered the world’s second most dangerous country for members of the media.