July 29, 2010 / 2:45 AM / 8 years ago

Drug hitmen kidnap four Mexican journalists: report

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Suspected drug hitmen have kidnapped four Mexican journalists who were reporting on organized crime in northern Mexico, the latest attempt by cartels to silence the media, a Mexican media group said on Wednesday.

The Milenio newspaper and TV network said one of its cameramen and three other journalists were abducted Monday after covering a prison scandal in the northern state of Durango in which inmates are accused of being hired guns for a local cartel.

Two cameramen from Mexico’s leading broadcaster Televisa were among those kidnapped, Milenio said. Televisa and Durango state authorities declined to comment.

“They are being held by organized crime,” Milenio said of the journalists in its online edition.

Across Mexico, a war between rival cartels for control of the multibillion dollar drug trade has killed more than 26,000 people since late 2006, worrying Washington and investors.

Attacks on the media have mounted as drug gangs seek to silence journalists who report on the drug killings.

Since 2006, at least 30 journalists have been killed in Mexico, according to Mexican media. Mexico is one of the world’s most dangerous countries for the media, the U.S.-based Committee to Protect Journalists says.

Editing by Sandra Maler

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