Veracruz authorities find body of abducted journalist (Diego Cruz, Centro Knight UT Austin)

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Gregorio Jiménez de la Cruz

Authorities in the violent state of Veracruz found on Tuesday the body of reporter Gregorio Jiménez de la Cruz, who was missing since last week. Four people allegedly linked to his murder are in custody, reported Mexican daily El Universal.

The news saddened colleagues around the world who in the last six days had taken to the streets and the internet to protest his disappearance. The mobilization was one of the largest and most important by the world’s Spanish-speaking journalists in recent years.

Official sources from Veracruz confirmed that Jiménez’s body was found in a grave with two other bodies in the township of Las Choapas. Armed men abducted Jiménez on Feb. 5 near the city of Coatzacoalcos.

According to newspaper Reforma, authorities reported that the mastermind behind the crime was Teresa de Jesús Hernández Cruz, Jiménez’s neighbor. Authorities said she paid several alleged hitmen – four of whom have been captured – to carry out the crime. After being detained, the suspects took state authorities to the grave where they found the bodies.

The investigation is still ongoing and a search is underway to find an additional four suspects, El Universal reported.

Over the course of the day, before Veracruz authorities confirmed Jiménez de la Cruz’s death, the rumor that he had been rescued spread through social media. On Twitter, a reporter from Coatazacoalcos, Gabriela Rasgado, said that journalists from Las Choapas had confirmed that Jiménez had been found alive. Then on Facebook, journalist Sayda Chiñas Córdoba – Jiménez’s colleague at Notisur – said that she had been informed that he had been found alive but possibly wasn’t yet free.

Confirmation of Jiménez’s death sent colleagues into mourning.

“I grieve for you, Goyo. For a minute we thought that we would find you alive, that for the first time we had managed to save a journalist from death. The Federal Attorney must investigate,” wrote renowned Mexican journalist Marcela Turati on Twitter.

This blog post was written by Diego Cruz for the blog, Periodismo en las Américas at the Knight Center at the University of Texas at Austin.

Translator Patrick Timmons is a human rights investigator and journalist. He edits the Mexican Journalism Translation Project (MxJTP), a quality selection of Spanish-language journalism about Latin America rendered into English. Follow him on Twitter @patricktimmons.

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