THE editor of an investigative magazine in violence-wracked northwestern Mexico who disappeared two weeks ago was found dead with gunshot wounds Thursday, a prosecutor said.
Antonio Gamboa Uris of the Nueva Prensa political magazine in Sinaloa state had been reported missing since October 10. His body was found "partially buried and with gunshot wounds," state prosecutor Marco Antonio Higuera told reporters.
Higuera said the journalist was kidnapped outside a bar. So far, five suspects have been arrested in the case, and some of their statements led to the discovery of the body.
"We believe that Gamboa's professional work was a possible motive for the crime, though we are not excluding any possibilities as part of the investigation," said Francisco Sandoval, who has followed the case for London-based press freedom group Article 19.
Nueva Prensa covers corruption issues and is published in the town of Los Mochis in Sinaloa, one of the regions hit hardest by drug violence and the birthplace of Mexico's most important druglords.
Gamboa participated in August in protests by Sinaloa journalists against a gag rule that was adopted limiting media coverage of crime in the state. The measure was ultimately repealed by the state legislature.
According to his family, Gamboa had received no threats that could make him fear for his safety, Article 19 said.
Gamboa's disappearance coincided with the murder of Atilano Roman Tirado, who was shot while broadcasting a live weekly radio program in the state capital Culiacan.
He was the leader of families of farmers demanding compensation for being displaced for the construction of a dam in Sinaloa.
Drug violence has led the media to practice self-censorship in several regions, while citizens seek information on blogs and social networks.
Mexico tops the list as the most dangerous country for journalists in Latin America, with 81 killed between January 2000 and September 2014, according to the Paris-based group Reporters Without Borders.
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Missing Mexico journalist found shot dead