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Latino Daily News

Friday May 3, 2013

Radio, Television Announcer Missing in Northern Mexico

Radio, Television Announcer Missing in Northern Mexico

Photo: Jose Gerardo Padilla Blanquet

Click Here to Enlarge Photo

A radio and television announcer in the northern Mexican state of Coahuila is missing, state officials said.

Jose Gerardo Padilla Blanquet disappeared Tuesday in Saltillo, the capital of Coahuila, state security spokesman Jesus Carranza told Efe.

Padilla Blanquet’s friends and co-workers reported on social-networking sites that he was missing, Carranza said.

The journalist’s family filed a missing persons report on Wednesday, Carranza said.

Padilla Blanquet works for Radio Grande de Coahuila, whose director has received threats on numerous occasions and was beaten a few months ago.

State prosecutors are investigating Padilla Blanquet’s disappearance, Coahuila Public Safety Secretary Jose Gerardo Villarreal told the press.

“The deputy prosecutor’s office for investigating and finding missing persons immediately established a search protocol to try to locate him and we are fully supporting them in everything needed,” Villarreal said.

The mutilated body of Daniel Alejandro Martinez, a photographer for Mexico’s La Vanguardia newspaper, was found last week along with that of another young man in Saltillo.

The dismembered bodies of the 22-year-old Martinez and 23-year-old Julian Alejandro Zamora Gracia were found on April 24 in Los Arcos, a neighborhood in the southern section of Saltillo, the Coahuila state Attorney General’s Office said.

Media and press rights groups staged a protest Sunday in Mexico City and several other cities to call for an end to attacks on journalists and pressure officials to clear up crimes against members of the media.

An International Press Institute, or IPI, and World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers, or WAN-IFRA, delegation visited Mexico in February and called for more protection for journalists.

Both the IPI and Reporters Without Borders, or RSF, ranked Mexico as the fourth most dangerous country in the world for journalists in 2012, trailing only Syria, Somalia and Pakistan.

More than 80 journalists have been murdered and 18 others have been reported missing since 2005 in Mexico, the Mexican National Human Rights Commission, or CNDH, said in a report released in December.

Some 658 complaints were received from members of the news media from Jan. 1, 2005, to Nov. 30, 2012, the rights body said.

The war on drugs launched by former President Felipe Calderon, who was in office from 2006 to 2012, left about 70,000 people dead, or an average of 32 per day, in Mexico, officials say.