A Mexican newspaper reporter kidnapped in the northwestern border state of Sonora was found dead Friday
A Mexican newspaper reporter kidnapped in the northwestern border state of Sonora was found dead on Friday with signs of torture, local officials said.
Marco Antonio Avila Garcia, a police
reporter with the newspaper El Regional de Sonora, was snatched at gunpoint on Thursday in Ciudad Obregon, a spokesman for the Sonora state prosecutor's office said.
Three masked men met Avila while he was cleaning his vehicle at a car wash and forced him to board their pickup truck.
Police found Avila's tortured body on the side of a highway in northwestern Mexico, 120 kilometres from where he was kidnapped with a message from one of the drug cartels, the prosecutor's spokesman Jose Larrinaga told AFP.
Larrinaga did not say how Avila died, or reveal the message left by his body. Police had questioned the 34-year-old reporter's family and friends to try to determine who may have kidnapped him.
Avila is the seventh journalist to be killed this year. Of those, six have been killed in the past month.
Early this month, police found the dismembered bodies of three photographers and a news company employee, wrapped in plastic bags, in a canal in the metropolitan area of Veracruz, a port city on the Gulf of Mexico.
In late April, a correspondent for the national weekly news magazine Proceso was found strangled at her home in Veracruz, where a war is raging between rival drug cartels.
With Avila's death, 81 journalists have been killed in the country since 2000, according to data from Mexico's National Human Rights Commission. Fourteen others are missing, according to the group.