Mexico’s National Human Rights Commission called on the government Tuesday to find four Mexican journalists reported missing in or near the violence-wracked northern state of Durango. The journalists include two cameramen from the Televisa network, a reporter for Multimedios television and a reporter for the newspaper El Vespertino.
“The lack of investigation into attacks on journalists has made them more vulnerable in doing their work,” the government’s rights commission said in a statement.
The four disappeared Monday in the Laguna region, which includes Durango and areas of the neighboring state of Coahuila.
The commission said three of them were “picked up” — a tactic frequently used by drug gangs in which victims are forced into waiting vehicles — around noon Monday, and the fourth was snatched that night.
The area has been wracked by drug gang violence. Prosecutors say officials at a prison in Gomez Palacio — the Durango city
where some of the journalists are based — allowed drug cartel gunmen to leave the penitentiary temporarily and provided them guns and vehicles to carry out executions.
At least seven journalists have been killed in Mexico so far in 2010. Many more Mexican reporters have received threats from drug gangs.