Four journalists in the Lagunera region of northern Mexico have disappeared just days after the revelation of a major corruption story. According to a press release by the National Human Rights Commission, the missing journalists include a reporter from Multimedios, two cameramen from the Gómez Palacio Televisa affiliate who were “picked up” (or “levantado”) in broad daylight around noon on Monday the 26th. The fourth missing reporter works for the El Vespertino newspaper in Gómez Palacio and disappeared around 11pm or the same day.
This comes in the wake of a corruption scandal in which prison guards in Gómez Palacios, Durango allegedly released and armed convicts to carry out mass murder in Torreón, Chihuahua. The two sister cities are one metropolitan area separated by a river which marks the state line.
Federal police investigators dropped this bombshell in a weekend press conference after looking into the July 18th massacre of 17 people at a birthday in a hotel. Eighteen people were wounded in the same attack. This was the third such massacre this year thought to have been committed by inmates released from the state penitentiary in Gómez Palacios. Crime scene shell casings were traced to assault rifles used by guards at the prison.
The four missing journalists aren’t the only victims in the scandal’s immediate fall out. A prison guard has been killed and 8 human heads have been found around the city of Durango, capital of the state of the same name.