Prominent Mexican journalist disappears after being kidnapped 'in a violent manner'

A prominent journalist in western Mexico was abducted by armed men and has not been seen since, prosecutors said Tuesday.

The fate of radio and television anchor Jaime Barrera gained national attention in part because his daughter, Itzul Barrera, sits on the leadership council of President Andrés Manuel López Obrador’s Morena party.

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Barrera vanished Monday after leaving a radio station where he worked in the city of Guadalajara. He never arrived at a television station where he was scheduled to host a show.

Mexican flag

A Mexican flag waves in front of The National Palace, the office of the president, in Mexico Citys main square, the Zocalo, at sunrise, April 24, 2023. (AP Photo/Marco Ugarte)

On Tuesday, the chief prosecutor of Jalisco state said Barrera had been kidnapped “in a violent manner” by three or four assailants, at least one of whom carried a rifle, but did not say whether any ransom demand had been made.

Investigators “have not found any indication that he had previously received threats,” said state prosecutor Luis Joaquín Méndez.

The kidnapping occurred in broad daylight in a busy section of Guadalajara, the capital of the western state of Jalisco, just yards away from the radio station. Barrera was snatched by the assailants before he could reach his car. Jalisco is home to the drug cartel of the same name.

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Mexico is one of the deadliest places in the world for reporters outside of war zones. The Committee to Protect Journalists has documented the killings of at least 55 journalists in Mexico since 2018, when López Obrador took office.