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3 police detained in Mexican reporter’s disappearance

January 5, 2015

VERACRUZ, Mexico (AP) — Authorities in the southern Mexico state of Veracruz arrested three municipal police officers early Monday as suspects in Friday’s disappearance of a local reporter.

The state prosecutor’s office said in a statement that police from Medellin de Bravo were detained in connection with the disappearance of Moises Sanchez Cerezo, though Medellin Mayor Omar Cruz said at a news conference later that one of the officers had been released after questioning.

Cruz also denied any personal involvement in the disappearance as had been alleged by Sanchez’s family.

Outside city hall, Sanchez’s brother, Juan Carlos Sanchez, used a loudspeaker to accuse Cruz again, saying the mayor had threatened his brother many times.

Cruz said that he would cooperate fully with investigators if asked.

Journalists in Veracruz announced protests in four cities demanding that Sanchez be returned alive.

A group of nine armed men took Sanchez from his home on Friday along with his computer, camera and telephones.

“He had been writing articles that made authorities, including the mayor, uncomfortable,” said his son, Jorge Sanchez.

Sanchez owns a local weekly, “La Union.” According to a reporters’ group, Sanchez wrote principally of local government corruption and violent deaths and published citizen complaints.

In recent years, journalists have been frequent targets in Veracruz. During the administration of Veracruz Gov. Javier Duarte de Ochoa, which began in 2010, 10 journalists have been killed and Sanchez is the fifth missing reporter.

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