Journalist kidnapped, killed

2009-11-03 14:02

Mexico - A journalist specialising in police matters was kidnapped and killed execution-style in Durango state in northern Mexico, the most dangerous Latin American country for the press, prosecutors said on Tuesday.

Bladimir Antuna Garcia, a reporter for the police section of El Tiempo de Durango newspaper, "was found dead minutes before 9:00 pm on Monday" (03:00 GMT on Tuesday), the Durango attorney general's office said in a statement.

Garcia had been kidnapped by an armed group early on Monday on his way to work in Durango city, the state capital.

According to preliminary reports, the cause of death was "asphyxia by strangulation", but his body also showed bullet wounds in the head and the abdomen.

Next to the body, found thanks to an anonymous phone call, was a message whose content was not disclosed by prosecutors.

His death brought to three the number of journalists killed so far this year in Durango state, and to eight those killed across the country, according to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights.

In 2008, Mexico was the Latin American country with the most murders of journalists - nine - mostly concentrated in the northern parts of the country home to feuding drug cartels behind over 14 000 murders in the past three years.