Skip to main content

World Remains found in western Mexico identified as abducted journalist

FILE PHOTO: Frida Urtiz, wife of reporter Salvador Adame Pardo, and his brother-in-law Franco Urtiz stand during a protest outside the offices of the Attorney General of the Republic in Mexico City, Mexico, on June 1, 2017.

Carlos Jasso/REUTERS

A charred body found in western Mexico has been identified as the owner and director of a local television station abducted in May, the seventh journalist killed so far this year in the country.

Salvador Adame was director of local cable Channel 6 TV. Armed men grabbed him on May 18 and forced him into a vehicle in the city of Nueva Italia in violence-plagued Michoacan state.

The remains were found in mid-June in a rural area and DNA tests later confirmed they were Adame's, said Michoacan state prosecutor Jose Martin Godoy.

Story continues below advertisement

Godoy said a kidnapping suspect had told authorities that Adame was killed on the orders of a local crime boss, allegedly because of "personal problems" between the two.

Godoy said Adame had apparently received angry and insulting phone messages from the local gang leader, who he identified by his nickname, "El Chano" Pena.

Mexican prosecutors have been criticized in the past for rushing to attribute the frequent murders of journalists to personal problems or motives unrelated to their work.

Roberto Rock, the chair of press freedom committee of the Inter American Press Association, condemned the killing and said "given the total impunity, we journalists have reached a stage in which we do not feel certainty regarding the causes of the murder of a colleague."

The IAPA said Adame "was known for his criticisms of the local mayor" in the city of Mugica, Michoacan.

Adame's abduction came after prominent journalist Javier Valdez was slain in Culiacan, in Mexico's Sinaloa state.

The New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists says some 40 journalists have been killed in Mexico for reasons confirmed as related to their work since 1992. An additional 50 were slain during the same period under circumstances that have not been clarified.

Story continues below advertisement

On Monday, federal prosecutors in Mexico said they would ask for help from the FBI and other international groups in investigating reports of high-tech spying against journalists and human rights defenders in Mexico.

The University of Toronto's Citizen Lab, an internet watchdog group, said in June that spyware called Pegasus produced by Israel's NSO Group was used to target the cellphones of people who were investigating or critical of Mexico's government.

It said there was no conclusive proof of government involvement, but noted that the software was sold only to governments and that the detected targets were all investigating or critical of the government.

Assistant Attorney General Ricardo Sanchez said companies that supply such spyware, and state government or federal agencies that might have bought or uses such software, would be asked to testify.

Sanchez also called on the victims to turn in their phones to investigators, but it was unclear whether any would, given deep suspicions the government itself was behind the spying.

Report an error
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

Comments that violate our community guidelines will be removed.

Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

Cannabis pro newsletter