On Monday, 32-year-old journalist Anabel Flores Salazar was kidnapped from her home near Orizaba, Veracruz by men dressed in military fatigues. By Tuesday, her body was found in Puebla, a neighboring state that is about one hour away from Mexico City – making her one of almost 20 journalists killed in Veracruz since Javier Duarte became governor of the state.
BBC Mundo described her as an “incisive reporter,” who had been working as a journalist for six years. She was a freelance reporter covering the police beat for El Sol de Orizaba. Flores was also the mother of two young children.
Duarte has been accused of not doing enough to protect journalists and for trying to blame them for being targeted by cartels. In a meeting with journalists after the death of photojournalist Ruben Espinosa, Duarte told them they could avoid causing their families heartbreak if they “behaved themselves,” which was seen as a thinly-veiled threat by many.
In a letter to the senators and legislators of Veracruz and Puebla, as well as Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto, a group of journalists condemned Flores’ death. They also asked the government to stop criminalizing journalists who have been murdered, and to stop infringing on their freedom of speech. “We demand a stop to the senseless massacre that has taken place against journalists in Veracruz because of the lack of government,” the letter said. “Stop this nightmare that you are causing throughout Veracruz.”
Online, the criticisms from both journalists and everyday people is the same: