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UN-DH calls on Mexico to intensify search for disappeared journalist

Asunción Ixtaltepec, Oaxaca — The Mexico Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (UN-DH) has demanded Mexican authorities reinforce the search efforts of the young Mexican journalist Agustín Silva, who disappeared on January 21 in Oaxaca.

Silva, 22 years old and a collaborator in local newspapers, left his house to do an interview on the afternoon of the day of his disappearance and did not return. His vehicle was found on the morning of the 22nd in the municipality of Asunción Ixtaltepec .

As detailed by the UN-DH in a statement, a few days prior to his disappearance, Silva had rejected pressure to modify a published news piece about the case as requested by the representative of three detainees allegedly linked to organized crime.

The representative of the UN-DH in Mexico, Jan Jarab, said that “It is urgent that the corresponding state and federal authorities carry out an effective investigation that takes into account the journalistic work” of Silva and that it determines his whereabouts.

“There is no denying the possible relationship between the disappearance of Agustín Silva and his journalistic work without having fully clarified the case and, above all, without having located the journalist.”

The representative said that it is essential to create conditions that guarantee an environment conducive to the exercise of freedom of expression, especially in states with numerous cases of attacks on journalists such as Oaxaca, where 144 attacks against reporters have been recorded.

Mexico is considered one of the most dangerous countries to practice journalism. In 2017, 12 journalists were killed, raising figures to 39 murders of journalists so far in the term of President Enrique Peña Nieto (2012-2018).

According to Reporters Without Borders, Mexico had the same number of journalists killed in 2017 as Syria (12), followed by Afghanistan (9) and Iraq (8).